The tech-savvy generation

The tech-savvy generation

Mixed opinions

The tech-savvy generation

These days, most children are not entertained by cartoons. Instead, the gadgets and smart phones that have swarmed the markets have caught their fancy.

Today’s young minds are definitely more than inquisitive when it comes to gaming and gadgets. It’s common to see children, as young as three, who surf the internet, download the latest games and even handle iPads like professionals. Most parents use technology quite often to occupy youngsters. But what starts as an innocent way to pass the time, could turn into a dangerous habit.

Sonal, the mother of a five-year-old, admits that technology really comes in handy. “There are few applications that actually help the child learn about things like colours, animals and rhymes. I don’t see why it’s a bad thing to introduce a child to new technology. Of course, I always ensure that I monitor my child and don’t let him overdo it,” she adds.

Agrees Dhanya, a professional, who has a six-year-old boy. “It’s always important to monitor them because these days, children are fast learners. My six-year-old actually locked my phone once and I had no clue how to unlock it – I had to give it back to him to fix it,” she laughs, adding, “The internet is not a safe place at all, so monitoring a child when he or she is online is also important.”

Experts warn that allowing children to spend too long playing with a tablet or a smart phone could lead to an addiction to digital technology and cause dangerous long-term effects. Kamana, a consulting psychiatrist, says that the overuse of gadgets and the internet is causing children to lose their grasp on languages and other subjects.

“It has become a common phenomenon these days. Whether it’s while texting or posting on networking sites like Facebook, no one writes in proper English anymore.

And the problem runs deeper because it isn’t just vocabulary that is taking a hit; the overuse of gadgets is also making kids lazy and denting their memory in a big way.” Apart from language skills, overuse of such gadgets also leads to lack of concentration and sleep.

“Unfortunately, new modes of communication like cellphones, tablets and the hours spent using them are preventing already sleep-deprived children from getting enough rest,” adds Kamana.

Angeline, a homemaker, observes that most children these days are getting hooked on to technology at a very young age. “It’s sad because while these children are busy playing on the computer, they are missing out on playing with each other, leading to lack of social skills among them. Looks like little things like playing in the sand and climbing trees are becoming a thing of the past,” she sums up.