We are worried about being late for work, but when we have been walking for ten minutes and are about to arrive at the metro station, we forget that we have left our mobile phone at the entrance to our house and have to go back, even though this means that we will be late for work.
Despite this, we return for the mobile, because we are not able to separate ourselves from this object for a whole morning. When you finally arrive at the stop, you enter the subway car and feel that no one is looking at you because all the passengers are crestfallen. Children, teenagers, adults… no matter how old they are, they are all looking at some electronic device .
Parents calming their children’s tantrums by means of a mobile phone or tablet, people talking on the phone, ears with helmets, people taking pictures of themselves with the famous selfies… It seems that we do not realise that we are losing a large part of our life, an immensity of details that pass in front of us and we are not able to perceive them because we find ourselves permanently fixing our attention on a screen that immerses us in a virtual reality, apparently similar to the real one, but far from it. This context makes it necessary to make children aware of the good use of new technologies .
Social networks: a niche of true or false friendships?
We believe we have hundreds and thousands of virtual friends, a concept that differs greatly from that of “lifelong friend”. A friend is a person with whom you share your time walking, playing sports, visiting a lot of places, having a drink in a bar, talking in a park… but not the one who makes you like one of your photos. Social networks, contrary to what we believe, favour the deterioration of human relations , since we relate more with those “virtual friends” than with people face to face.
Parents make use of these technologies and make them available to their children at a very young age. It is not uncommon to see two-year-olds handle their own tablets better than many adults. The problem is that if a child who has certain difficulties in relating to others is allowed to be exposed to new technologies from an early age instead of helping him/her to develop his/her social skills , we will be contributing to the development of a possible future addiction to the internet.
It is essential to spend time with our children from an early age and to encourage the development of social skills by going down to the park, encouraging face-to-face relationships, playing cooperative games and, most importantly, knowing how to set limits on the hours of exposure to these new technologies.
Children are looking forward to having a mobile phone at an ever younger age, but what they don’t know is how much they will miss out on by incorporating this device into their lives. Furthermore, it has been scientifically proven that excessive use of electronic devices such as computers, tablets or mobile phones can lead to disorders such as sleep disorders, aggression and difficulties in language development.
- You may be inert: “FOMO syndrome: feeling that others’ lives are more interesting”
Risks of misuse of new technologies in childhood
It is clear that the new technologies have introduced many advances in communication, industry, commerce and, very importantly, medicine, but we must not forget the risks that can result from their irresponsible use.
The disadvantages of new technologies arise when they are misused. In recent years we have heard terms such as cyberbullying or cyberharassment, grooming, carding, phising or pharming. For those who do not know them, these are crimes committed using new technologies , which are often used as a means through which to insult, threaten, harass or defraud other people.
We are often unaware of the danger of social networks in society, and even more so in the lives of children. We share everything we do, where we are, where we come from and where we are going, and this entails an enormous risk.
It is important to be aware that something that was created to make our lives easier, can make them more complicated . We dedicate many hours of our day to social networks and what does it do for us? We go to a concert and all we think about is recording the artist so that we can share it online, we meet our idol in the street and instead of exchanging a few words with him, we just take a picture of ourselves and share it on Instagram. Do the experiment, get close to a group of friends in a bar, and see if any of them don’t have their cell phone on the table or are using it. But is that really what we mean by enjoy? Let’s stop and think and make the others think.
To conclude, I would like to recommend a short film that magnificently reflects the above-mentioned concern.