For kids these days, smartphones are the latest toys to play with. Nobody teaches them how to use these devices, they use their brain and find out a way to deal with every problem they encounter.
The situation that better clarifies this scenario is that children today can be called digital natives, while our generation as digital migrants. Unlike our children, we were introduced to the concept of internet and smart connectivity that internet offers, just a click away. The time though was different, we were grown-ups and knew how to differentiate between the good and the bad.
Interestingly, it is probably because of this reason that many in our generation and generations before us feel the intrusion of technology in every field our life. We feel that the dependency on internet and smartp has cut ‘hands of human’ making him a technological slave.
Children on the other hand are introduced to the technology first and the nitty-gritty of life later. As they grow, they perceive it as a partner that offers solution to all their problems, from playing games to completing assignments, and connecting with friends, everything is done with the aid of the internet.
The situation is extremely worrisome. While the internet offers great deal of information and opportunities to learn, it poses risks and challenges for children and exposes them to abrupt content influencing their mind-set to do take up wrong activities like bullying and abusing.
According, to a recent report released by Unicef, titled ‘The State of the World’s Children 2017’: children in digital world, one in three users worldwide is a child. Besides, the report also said “A growing body of evidence indicates that children are accessing the internet at increasingly younger ages. In some countries, children under 15 are as likely to use the internet and smartphones as adults over 25.”
The report also stated that youth (ages 15-24) are the most connected age group. Globally, 71% of people in the same age (15-24) group are active on the internet across different platforms compared to 48% of the total population online.
The situation is alarming and what’s at stake is the nation’s future. Internet can be boon, only when children are supervised and shown the right direction, but could be a bane if children’s exposure to smartphones and internet is not limited.