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How Much Time a Day Do Your Children Spend Using Technology?
January 21, 2013 at 11:12 AM

9 Hidden Dangers of Letting Your Kids Use Technology

Posted by Deborah Cruz

girl and tabletIt is a high tech world. I love it and I don’t know how we survived before everyone had access to cells phones and the Internet. Honestly, if you tried to take either away from me today, I’d probably fight you to the death and you’d still have to pry my iPhone out of my cold dead hands.

As we advance technologically, it's becoming the norm to see toddler and certainly elementary school aged children on laptops, iPods, iPads, iPhones and the internet, usually playing educational games or watching cartoons so that their parents can keep them occupied. I have no problem with this. Our girls have DS’s and now they have Nabi tablets , MP3 players and we own every educational game system available since the girls were toddlers. They do homework on the laptop and know their way around technology ... like every other kid we know.

It’s progress, right? Maybe. I used to think so but now I am not so sure because while we were all so excited about technologically advancing our children we completely overlooked the hidden dangers of kids using technology.

For instance:

  1. Surprise bills from iTunes This is a lesson I learned very recently and the hard way. My daughters had finished their homework and did their chores, they asked me if I could buy them a dress up game they had been wanting on the iPad called Sporty Girl Dress up. It was only $1.99 so I bought it. Unfortunately, every time they clicked on an outfit to dress up in, it charged me $1.99. It didn’t ask to confirm the purchase, it only asked, “ Do you want this?” and the girls obviously wanted it. Long story short, I got a surprise bill for $80. I’m sure this is not the only unethical game around so beware.
  2. Accidentally seeing something inappropriate Pop ups. Even if you childproof that sucker, your kid still could accidentally see something that you are not ready to explain like two men kissing or a woman giving birth. Nothing wrong with either but unless you are comfortable having that conversation with your 3-year-old, don’t do it.
  3. More awkward social skills The more our children immerse themselves in the cyber world, the less their social skills are developing. They need to interact in real time, face to face, not just via face time. Unless you want the norm for all people to meet others to be via sites like Match.com, teach your kids how to live in the real world.
  4. No patience, expecting the entire world to provide instant gratification In the digital world, there is no wait time. You type it in and beep, boop, beep, there it is. In the real world, people need time. Things take time and our children need to learn patience and understanding or they are going to spend a lot of time disappointed and angry.
  5. Interacting with unsavory characters You hear about kids talking to pedophiles online all the time and not knowing it. How could they? How can any of us know who is real and what is bullshit when we are talking via social media?
  6. Sending inappropriate photos Cell phone cameras are not the friend of tweens and teens. They are too naive to understand what can happen to nude photos and sexts sent and intended for one person. They don’t realize that once they go out they are no longer private or personal.
  7. Giving out private information to potential criminals I had a cousin who tweeted every move she made, including where she was  going, when she was going what she was wearing and once she even status updated her Facebook with her address saying she was bored and if anyone wanted to come over they should.
  8. Obesity Your kid sits all day playing with tech, they move less, they get fat; end of story. Nobody wants their child to be unhealthy or overweight so limit the online time.
  9. Addiction Kids can get addicted to technology. It’s a crutch. They get used to having those online connections and they don’t want to give them up. Don’t fool yourself, it’s like cyber crack.

How much time a day do your children spend using technology?

Replies

  • mem82
    by mem82
    January 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Our kids use it a lot. On the other hand, we also push other creative outlets, too, so I don't worry about it so much. Technology is the way of the future.

  • kirbymom
    January 21, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    My kids would most definitely use technology  more often if we allowed them to.  They use a computer to do their school on and will use the internet for research and once in awhile they play on the internet but not like most of the kids we know about who use technology. 

  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    BJ
    January 21, 2013 at 1:08 PM

     #4 gets me because all kids even ones that have never used technology don't have patience! All kids want what they want & they want it now, that is the way their minds work so I don't think technology is to blame on that one.

    My kids do use tech everyday for a lot of the day but it is all used in an aria where I am with them & can see all that they do all of the time. Technology is all around them & it isn't going to go away any time soon, matter of fact it is going to become more & more apart of their lives as time goes on so in my opinion they need to know how to interact with it & use it properly just as much as they need to know how to interact with people.

  • estop
    by estop
    January 22, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    When they finish chores and school Maybe 3 hours a day. My boys do math online plus after they play xbox. My 11 yo does not have phone he get one when he is 15 just like his 16 yo brother. I very strict with electronics. My brother gave my boys each a psp now I have to make a time limit on that cause when they go to bed they playing it. I did not know they can get online with it too.


  • jen2150
    by jen2150
    January 22, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    anywhere from 0-4 hours depending on what is going on.  Techonology is a tool.  You could technically substitue reading for technology.  My kids have learned so much from technology.   Most of these on the list are ridiculous.  

  • sheila5745
    January 23, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    My child uses the computer, but she likes to play the learning games. She looks up the weather for me and then She's not allowed to be on it until school is over, Rule# 1-9.. I agree alot with all..

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