Humans have gone from using rudimentary makeshift tools in their daily endeavors to using some of the world’s most amazing modern developments, all in the last millennium alone. What would seem like alien technology to people of the past is now widely available on the cheap. Locked away in the little devices that rest in our pockets is the digest of human thought, ranging from an angry movie review to centuries-old historical databases; content accessible at any time.
It could very well be ruinous for future generations. With all the good that comes along with modern technology, it’s no surprise that this is an escape for many people. Whether it’s binge YouTube for hours on end while procrastinating, or seeking validation from peers online to fill the void caused by an unstable home environment, children very frequently use technology for this very reason. However, what these children see as an escape only leads them further down a dangerous path that could stunt their development into healthy, functioning adults.
Internet-connected devices are becoming an increasingly important part of everyday life. Schools include them in their classrooms and programs, and workplaces are increasingly using technology. The average American household is connected to more internet-enabled devices than ever before.
Technology has never been more important or accessible, and perhaps that’s why it plays such an important role in children’s lives. Children’s technology consumption has exploded in recent years, largely due to the availability and affordability of technology. According to Common Sense Censusownership of cell phones by teens aged 9 to 12 increased by 19% between 2015 and 2019.
“The use of technology has increased dramatically over the past decade,” said Lance Garrison, a pediatric psychologist at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. “This is largely due to the introduction of the smartphone, … [the smartphone] has revolutionized the way we access the Internet and the services offered to us as consumers. »
Based on a survey conducted by Pew Research between 2014 and 2017, the average teenager spends about three hours on a screen purely for entertainment, excluding time spent on educational content. This time accounts for more than two-thirds of the total time spent on leisure activities, almost tripling the time spent socializing with friends.
“It can go wrong. I spend about seven hours on a good day, maybe eight and a half hours,” said Carlmont junior Zachary Taylor.
Additionally, the number of connected devices has increased dramatically over the past two decades. In 2000, the average household saw barely more than three devices connected, with only 51% of all households having at least one. Comparing this to a recent survey in 2020, the prevalence of the technology has increased eightfold. Interestingly, more than half of this change happened during 2020, which saw the number grow from around 11 devices to an incredible number. 25.
“Generally, I’d say we have about 13 devices in our house, including ones that aren’t mine,” Carlmont said as a sophomore. Sachith Vissapragada.
With this increased screen time comes a crucial question: How does the use of technology affect children? A wide variety of sources reveal correlations between device use and certain physical and behavioral developments in adolescents.
Experts on multiple platforms discuss the specific ways this happens, but the general consensus is that the overuse of technology can negatively impact young people.