Young children have been surrounded by technology devices and programs since the moment of their birth. That is, the first thing a baby might open his eyes to is the flash of a digital camera or a smart phone!! These children are born in a new life; full of techs which forms them as new generation; the digital citizen generation. They are capable of dealing with different techs easily, from anywhere and being keen to know and explore more without the hesitation and reluctance that we had. Returning backward to the era of inventing the television and all the anxiety aroused by parents and educators about; what might children learn through this device! Again, the same anxiety appears around children’s relationship to digital technology (Hutchby, I., Moran-Ellis, J. (2001). Due to this anxiety, many researches have been conducted about children’s screen time as many parents concern about how much should they allow their children to use these digital techs. According to Sonia Livingstone and Alicia Blum-Ross in their report about the trouble with the screen time rules; “Screen time, as ever, is a hot topic for academics, policy folk and for parents. There’s a seemingly endless debate about how much is too much, or indeed (as we have argued) whether ‘time’ is really the right frame at all”. They also, believe that most of this anxiety is because of parents referring to some version of the famous American Academy of Pediatric AAP. This academy has declared that there should be a restriction in children’s screen time in a way that no screen time for children under the age of two and only 2hours of screen time for children older than two.
Consequently, the concern has been shifted from “whether digital technology is appropriate to young children” to “how technology can be effectively used to facilitate children’s learning and development”, (Wand and Hoot, 2006, p317). Nevertheless, parents need to be screen wise and learn how to harness the children’s screen time and make it more positive, they should also think more about how to mentor their children rather than monitor them (Devorah Heitner, 2017).
To conclude with, I think the social developmental consequences of the use of digital techs can be controlled if we take in consideration the idea that, it is never a matter of time and how much children spend with digital techs, rather it is how they spend that time and on what. It is my role here, as a parent, to guide and mentor my children’s of technology as long as they are with me. As Sonia Livingstone discussed in her blog, parents should not worry a lot about their children as long as they sleep, eat and play well without any health issues.
– Hutchby, I. and Moran-Ellis, J. (2001), ‘Relating children, technology and culture,’ in RoutledgeFalmer: London.
– Livingstone, S. and Blum-Ross, A. (2017), ‘the trouble with ‘screen time rules’, http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/parenting4digitalfuture/2017/06/08/the-trouble-with-screen-time-rules/
– Alicia Blum-Ross. (2017) ‘How can parents become ‘screenwise’? An interview with Devorah Heitner.
- Devorah Heitner, (2017), ‘Five ways to Transform you kids’ screen time’.
- Celeste, (2016), ‘What are the effects of touchscreens on toddler development?’.