By Josh M.
Technology has had a substantial change since the 1900’s to now, not only has its growth been linear some would argue it’s been exponential. The discovery and manufacturing of mobile devices, personal computers, software, and equipment have elevated the accessibility to information instantaneously across the globe, therefore, elevating, even more opportunities for innovation and technological possibilities. With all this accessibility to information, devices and media there have been many positive impacts on the population as well as many negative repercussions.
Specifically, my article will focus on the positive and negative impacts of technology on youth in the years of 2000 to 2016. First is accessibility, with technology being so widely accessible, youth have been able to learn and understand technology at a much faster rate than those from previous generations. Youth today are showing their grandparents how to answer emails, access programming and interact through media, the primary reason being because of the already large amounts of screen youth have access to their everyday lives. This means that youth today have a much better understanding of technology and are ahead in their education of software and tech devices. On the other hand, youth have also become dependent on technology and ignoring important learning and the basics of simple task management that don’t involve technology such as cooking basic food, social interaction skills, differentiating between right, wrong, true and false information. Technology has replaced the need to go out and explore, experience and discover, therefore limiting youth to their home. This has limited social growth, mental and physical development in youth that outdoor interaction would otherwise cultivate their personal growth and talents.
My personal experience with technology as a child involved superhero video games and movies, I remember looking forward to the new batman cartoon movies or playing my spider-man game on my game system after school. After spending more than a couple of hours on video games and tv my father would then chase me out of the house and encourage me to go play outside, thankfully I did, because looking back now I realize that I really did have more enjoyment playing outside then watching a screen.
The Canadian sedentary guidelines list that children should only spend two hours per day maximum of sedentary behavior but statistics have consistently stated that children have been exceeding far more than the guidelines requirements, and the main reason being access to technology. According to the 2016 The Participation Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth a total of 76% of 5- to 19-year-olds in Canada report watching tv, personal computer access or video games, and reading during after school period (based on a subsample of the 2014-15 CANPLAY, CFLRI) (ParticipAction, 2016).
In conclusion, technology has been a tremendous impact on the world and has benefited society greatly, however it lacks the fundamental opportunities that provide youth with important personal and developmental growth opportunities that technology cannot provide. This issue could be addressed by limiting youth access to devices and making them focus instead on tech free environments experiences, or another option would be to use device access as a reward for accomplishing the requirements parents have set for them.
ParticipAction. (2016). Participation. Retrieved from Participation.com: https://www.participaction.com/sites/default/files/downloads/2016%20ParticipACTION%20Report%20Card%20-%20Full%20Report.pdf