Press enter or return to search.

News Top Stories

Caution: iPads Dangerous to Youngsters

At Columbus Academy, many privileges come with age. For instance, you get to play on the larger playground when you get to second grade, you get to eat frozen yogurt at lunch once every letter-day rotation in middle school, and you can wear any color polo you want when you reach high school. These privileges seem to be well received throughout the school and give students something to look forward to as they get older.

Now, imagine not being able to have or see any electronics until you turn 12. This may seem absurd, but some  scientists argue that this may be an appropriate age, mainly because of technology’s effects on the brain and the modern family.

The New York Times recently published Nick Bilton’s article  about a magic trick that his sister performed with her kids at a restaurant. The children were arguing and disturbing the order of the restaurant, so Bilton’s sister pulled out 2 iPads for them, and suddenly they were silent and kept busy for the rest of the meal. They had stopped fighting, but also stopped participating socially.

Sherry Turkle, a professor of science, technology, and society at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says, “Conversations with each other are the way children learn to have conversations with themselves, and learn how to be alone.” Children’s dependence on electronics may hinder their ability to learn appropriate social behavior.

CNN’s Bunmi Laditan claims that using electronic devices as a way to “babysit” children, is a good thing and that it allows children to be “modern kids.” What she doesn’t say, however, is that use of technology by children under 12 years of age is detrimental to their social and mental development.

Dr. Gary Small, director of the Longevity Center at the University of California, says that the brain is highly sensitive to stimuli, like iPads and smartphone screens. If children spend too much time attached to this stimuli and not enough time interacting with people, it diminishes their development of certain social and communication skills.

Children need to unplug and learn to be a part of families again, like playing outside with their families and speaking with their parents at dinner. They need to develop the social skills that electronics and technology may take away from them. Prohibiting use of electronics until 12 may be extreme, but it also may be just what children need.

Written by Esther Lawrence’18





Comments are closed.