Should Handheld Devices be Banned for Young Children?


On March of 2014, The Huffington Post posted the article “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12”.

It has been proven that handheld devices (cell phones, tablets, electronic games) have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, especially by very young children (Common Sense Media, 2013), as I’ve already posted on my blog (Preschoolers More Digital-Smart than College Students), but there are also side-effects and negative points on the matter, some of which you can explore on these posts:
Is your Smartphone a Social Friend…or Foe?
Delayed Social Development Cost of Texting?

10 research-based reasons presented by The Huffington Post for this “ban”:

1. Rapid brain growth
2. Delayed Development
3. Epidemic Obesity
4. Sleep Deprivation
5. Mental Illness
6. Aggression
7. Digital dementia
8. Addictions
9. Radiation emission
10. Unsustainable future

(Read more about each reason on the original post here)

Megan Egbert – a librarian, blogger and mom – answered the article with 10 Reasons Why I Will Continue Giving My Children Handheld Devices, and all other forms of technology as well.

1. Because banning things never, ever, ever works
2. Problem solving
3. Technology skills
4. Expectations in school
5. Interest
6. Because I care about their brains
7. Girls
8. Balanced life
9. Literacy
10. Reality

(Read more about each reason on the original post here)

My personal opinion is that we need to be smart and have a critical posture about how (future) kids use technology, gadgets, social media and connect to the World Wide Web in general, since it was and has been continuously scientifically and psychologically proven that the new technology paradigm is affecting some manual, social and language skills.
Recent reports and studies show that nowadays young children and teens have less and less hobbies and extracurricular activities, preferring instead to “stay online”, consequently not getting enough exercise, outside activities, etc., some are even using tech to bully, exploit themselves, post horrible things anonymously, etc., a new kind of social interaction and social/digital (inter)relation on digital communities/groups that require further analysis and practical investigations. Nevertheless, parents and care takers need to stay vigilant about how their kids and young children use tech, new gadgets and get connected to the World Wide Web.

Problems – Suffer the Children – 4 minutes
Solutions – Balanced Technology Management – 7 minutes

The following Technology Use Guidelines for children and youth were developed by Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist and author of Virtual Child; Dr. Andrew Doan, neuroscientist and author of Hooked on Games; and Dr. Hilarie Cash, Director of reSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program and author of Video Games and Your Kids, with contribution from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society in an effort to ensure sustainable futures for all children.

Technology Use Guidelines for Children and Youth
Technology Use Guidelines for Children and Youth

Thanks again for reading and for following, I hope you like it and found it interesting.

Best regards,
Pedro Calado

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