We are living in a day and age where nearly every single person has a smartphone. With everything you could want in a phone all wrapped up in elegant looking package, it’s not hard to see why those with a smartphone have it within reach at all times. For those of us that are a part of the older generations, we can look back on our childhoods with fond memories of a tech free world. But what does this mean for the millennials?
There are definitely benefits and even disadvantages of having a smartphone. Let’s take a closer look to see how the era of the smartphone is affecting the youth of today.
Smartphones Allow Parents to Rest Easy
f you are a parent worried about the whereabouts of their children, just give them a smartphone. You are able to text or call them no matter where they are. Not to mention, many smartphones come with locator apps and GPS which allow you to pin point exactly where the smartphone is- meaning your child is not too far.
Schools Using More Tech
In today’s school curriculum, many times they are including the use of a tablet or computer to complete the assignments at school or the homework. Students are required to research a topic or complete online modules for their courses. With the constant use of a smartphone, students are able to more easily use the tech required for their school work.
The Infinite Online World
The curiosity of a child can seem endless, yet with the tool as a great as the internet, they are able to find answers to their questions. Whether they have questions about the universe, how to make a cake, or they are interested in tracing their family lineage—they can find the answers online. With the use of a smartphone, the answers to their questions lie in the palm of their hand.
Access to More Music
Previous generations were typically exposed to music choices of their parents or what was available on the radio or record store. Today, kids can explore any and all genres of music through a variety of apps available on smartphones.
Social Learning and Socialization
Apps such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter are all examples of how a smartphone can keep you in touch with all the latest updates from your friends and family. You can easily send messages or reach out to a friend or family member in an instant which allows you to be as social as you want to be.
Associated Health Risks
Constant use of a smartphone can have associated health risks. This can include loss of sleep or problems with posture due to looking down at the phone all the time. Even still, youth who lead a sedentary lifestyle by staying on their phone nearly all of their waking hours are more prone to suffering from obesity.
Risk of Exposure to Inappropriate Materials and/or Online Predators
The Internet can be a wonderful place, but there is always danger around the corner. Whether it be inappropriate materials or online chat rooms, there can always be a risk of your child being exposed to something they shouldn’t be. Make sure to talk to your child about the risks associated with being online and you can even take measures to block certain sites or content.
Once it’s Online, it’s Always Online
One thing that children seem to misunderstand is that any actions they take online are permanent. Whether it be a post- comment, photo, or video, or downloading content- anything they do is permanent. Another caution parents should take is discussing the issues of illegally downloading and/or cyber bullying.
Mind Numbing Distractions from Reality
While plenty of children use their smartphone for research or playing games, there is always a child or teenager who never puts down their phone. This can take away from their quality of life since they will be more at risk for health issues, as well as taking away from nature and play or interaction with peers.