- Technology and teenagers: Are there any risks?
- The risks of technology for teenagers
- The negative effects of technology on young people
- Teenagers and technology: what can you do?
Today's teenagers spend a lot of time with smartphones in their hands, using computers better than we do, and they know the Internet like the back of their hand. But what are the risks of this? Let's find out what the experts say on what are the negative effects of technology on teenagers.
Technology and teenagers: Are there any risks?
Adolescence is a delicate period, this is known to all, and today's parents are certainly better prepared and better equipped than they used to be. 👵
But our children, digital natives, are exposed to potential risks that were once not there: these are those related to new technologies, smartphones, the Internet, and social networks.
What are the negative effects of technology on teenagers? This question is important, since adolescence is a time of "emotional turmoil" when teens are more prone to addictions and disorders such as depression and anxiety. Technology is by no means public enemy number one, but you need to know its risks to avoid nasty surprises: prevention is better than cure, and you can certainly help your child!
The risks of technology for teenagers
Have you ever heard of internet addiction?. We can see this disorder as the tip of the iceberg: it is the best known and certainly the most worrying, but it is not the only risk related to adolescents' misuse of technology.
Here is an overview of the main risks associated with technology abuse.
Loss of contact and relationships 👪
Adolescents who tend to isolate themselves through the use of technology face the risk of a loss of contact with the social context in which they live and a loss of relationships of any kind. This, as a result, leads to falling behind in terms of emotional development, affective and relational.
Worsening of ADHD🏃
Technology abuse leads to worsening symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; and the reverse is also true: girls and boys with an attention deficit are more prone to internet addiction and gaming.
Changes in white matter 🧠
A recent Chinese study analyzed a group of teenagers with overt Internet addiction by subjecting them to MRI scans. The finding was surprising: the white matter in their brains was altered compared to that of peers not affected by such addiction. Other studies have found the same changes in kids addicted to smartphones.
The negative effects of technology on young people
Of course, seen this way the issue is definitely scary. 😱 But it's worth pointing out: we're only focusing on risks and negative effects, which doesn't detract from the fact that technology can also do a lot of good-think of assistive technologies - and come in handy in so many contexts in the areas of teaching and learning.
We have seen the major risks associated with technology abuse by young people. What, on the other hand, are the effects that all kids, no matter how much time they surf the internet or use smartphones, experience?
Alteration of sleep-wake rhythm
It's well known (and it applies to adults as well): smartphones and computers before bedtime worsen sleep quality and open the door to disorders such as insomnia. Artificial light is the reason: our circadian rhythms are regulated by the presence/absence of light; exposing ourselves to a strong light source before sleep "disrupts" our biorhythms.
An active technological device nearby-or in one's hand-is a source of sensory hyper-stimulation that leads one to live in a constant state of alertness, waiting for the sound or notification.
The prolonged and excessive use of video games (especially those with violent content) leads to increased aggression. In addition, some studies have correlated gaming abuse and the tendency to lie more and more often.
Impulsivity and self-regulation deficits
Again, video game abuse underlies more impulsive behavior on the part of boys and their inability to regulate their own behavior.
Loss of skills: a problem to be avoided
The greatest risk of teenagers' misuse of technology lies in the fact that they can potentially lead the teenager to isolate himself or herself from the social group. Internet addiction does just that: the teen prefers to take refuge in his or her virtual world rather than face the real one.
The consequence is the failure to develop emotional, social and emotional skills that are fundamental to living a peaceful adult life. In this case, the saying "the train doesn't pass twice" applies: afterwards, one can only try to undo the damage done. So the use of technology must always fit into a rich and healthy social and relational context.
Teenagers and technology: what can you do?
Here's the bottom line: what can you do to prevent your child from the negative effects of technology?
Ensure real interactions
Make sure your child can hang out with their peers and interact in different social settings. There is more than just school: help them build contacts in real life, not just on the Internet.
Help him use technology the right way
It's not just a matter of how much time your child spends on the computer or with the smartphone in their hand, but also what they do in that time: educate him about the risks and proper use of devices and technologies.
No to prohibitions and intrusions
Prohibition, in adolescence, is tantamount to an invitation to do it again... The same goes for violation of privacy. Being authoritarian does not serve, at this juncture as at so many others.
Supervise your use of technologies
Make sure they make constructive and healthy use of the Internet, social media and smartphones. Share information and experiences with them, seek an atmosphere of collaboration and have an opportunity to supervise their activity without being intrusive.
Technology that doesn't hurt
Repeating it once more doesn't hurt: together with the negative effects of technology on teenagers, technology can also do some great good during teenage years. Online tutoring is a perfect example of this. GoStudent leverages technology in the best way possible by bringing personalized private lessons to your home, when and as you desire. If you are looking for study support for your child, book a trial lesson today and experience the difference!