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Darcy Brodehl

English Composition 1

Professor Myers

November 20, 2018

Should Children be Given Technology at a Young Age?

According to some research conducted by Common Sense Media, 98% of families with

children 8 years and younger own a TV. Forty-two percent of children in the same age group

have a TV in their room. Also, 10% of children live in families where the TV is left on all the

time. These statistics show a small part of today’s society has been affected by technology. There

is also the use of smartphones and video games by children as well. Technology surrounds

everyday activities and affects how people do things. However, introducing devices, such as

smartphones, at a young age can be detrimental to one’s growth. Children should not be given

devices at a young age because it is dangerous, results in psychological and physical growth

problems, and increases dependency on technology.

Technology can be harmful to children through the amount of time they spend on it. Many

parents, including ones who work with technology for a living, have chosen to limit technology

because of what it can do. A former editor of Wired, and chief executive of a robotics and drone

company, Chris Anderson said, “on a scale of candy to crack cocaine, [technology is] closer to

crack cocaine” (Bowles). Many technology experts do not trust their children with devices. They

know technology better than the common population which provides perspective on how

dangerous it can really be.

Many parents give their children smartphones or Nintendo DS’ etc. to keep them

occupied. However, this contributes to the danger of technology. Athena Chavarria, a past
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executive assistant at Facebook, is “convinced the devil lives in our phones and is wreaking

havoc on our children” (Bowles). Giving children phones as a distraction can lead to them

becoming more attached to their devices. Also, they are more likely to come across things on the

internet that is not safe. This stems through the lack of parental monitoring of devices since it is

used as a distraction for children.

Technology can have a psychological effect on children who use it. Many devices take

away from social interaction that happens in person. A doctor from Boston Medical Center,

Jenny Radesky, said that children “learn about their own emotions, they learn how to regulate

them. They learn by watching [adults] how to have a conversation, how to read other people’s

facial expressions. And if that’s not happening, children are missing out on important

developmental milestones” (Williams). If children are taken away from basic social interactions,

it will affect how well they will be able to interact with others in the future. For example “if a

child relies on electronics to communicate, they risk weakening their people skills” (Williams).

When children grow up, communication becomes a more vital part of their everyday lives. If

they are lacking in this, they may suffer consequences of their excessive screen time.

Physical problems can also arise from technology. Research has been done and concludes

that smartphones and other devices “emit harmful blue light that can cause headaches, eye strain

and irritated eyes for children...sleep is also disturbed by a harmful blue light when children are

exposed to screens in the evening due to the suppression of the hormone melatonin” (Patel). Not

only can technology affect cognitive development, but physical development is also at stake.

Much awareness is raised about the psychological effects. Children do not get as much exercise

as they used to due to the “computers, smartphones, and television [that] encourages them to be

sedentary when they get home from school, as opposed to going outside and playing with other
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kids” (Patel). Technology plays a huge role in the rate of obesity in the country. Childhood

obesity is a growing problem which can be stopped if the technology use is limited.

A final reason why children should not have access to technology is that it can be highly

addictive. A survey conducted by Common Sense Media showed that 50% of teenagers feel

addicted to their phones (Ladika). This is a significant amount considering that a very high

number of teenagers are surrounded by technology. Some countries outside of America have

noticed the severity of technology addiction. France has proposed legislation that “would require

children under 16 to obtain parental approval to open accounts on social media sites such as

Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram. And the government plans to ban mobile phone use at

primary and junior high schools” (Ladika). Technology causes a multitude of problems amongst

teenagers that action must be taken to help them. A parent and former social computing

researcher, Kristin Stecher said, “doing no screen time is almost easier than doing a little...if my

kids do get it at all, they just want it more” (Bowles). Many children are seen glued to their

screens with not much awareness around them. This leads to further investment in their devices

which then leads to addiction.

While there is an abundance of drawbacks to technology, many can argue that there are

benefits that outweigh them. For instance, schools have adopted technology to make learning

more efficient. There is now online homework that can be done at home easily. Also, students

can access computers and the internet with no conflicts at all. However, technology in the

classroom is no exception to the problems listed above. Kids can still play games on their

computers at school. Most schools block certain sites, but educational are obviously not. Even if

the games are not ideal for children, they will still play them to satisfy their desire for

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Also, many children might need phones to communicate with their parents. This is a valid

reason to give a child a phone. These needs can be supplied without giving a child a smartphone.

Athena Chavarria, who was mentioned earlier, did not give her children phones until they were

in high school. Many people asked her if she was worried about not knowing where her kids

were. She replied that she did not need to know where they were every second of the day

(Bowles). Therefore, children do not need a phone to secure their safety. If parents feel the need

to give their child a phone, they could give them a flip phone. This would prevent a lot of

budding technology addictions before they can happen.

In conclusion, technology can be detrimental to children. It can be dangerous for them as

seen by technology experts. These experts do not give their children freedom on devices because

they know the effects. Also, technology can affect a child’s cognitive ability. Children who use

devices often cannot function as well socially as children who do not. Physical ability is also

affected because technology plays a role in obesity. Finally, technology is highly addictive and

can cause serious problems for those who are forced to step away from it. While technology has

a lot of benefits, the drawbacks outweigh them.

Works Cited

Bowles, Nellie. "A Dark Consensus about Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon

Valley." New York Times, 26 Oct. 2018. New York Times,

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www.nytimes.com/2018/10/26/style/phones-children-silicon-valley.html. Accessed 30

Oct. 2018.

Conrad, Brent. "Children and Technology-Stats for Technology in the Home" Tech

Addiction. Accessed 20 Nov. 2018. http://www.techaddiction.ca/children-and-


Ladika, Susan. Technology Addiction. CQ Researcher Online,


000&type=hitlist&num=1. Accessed 2 Nov. 2018.

Patel, Dhruvin. "Will Technology Ruin Your Children's Development." Thrive Global, 4

Mar. 2017, medium.com/thrive-global/will-technology-ruin-your-childrens-development-

663351c76974. Accessed 2 Nov. 2018.

Williams, Amy. "How Do Smartphones Affect Childhood Psychology?" Psych Central,

17 July 2016, psychcentral.com/lib/how-do-smartphones-affect-childhood-psychology/.

Accessed 2 Nov. 2018.