Know how the internet benefits, as well as threatens your child
Internet is the infinite medium of knowledge that offers enormous potential for mental and psychological growth. Kids learn social skills through interactions with people from different parts of the world and are exposed to the latest happening in various fields of research. However, since kids are very inquisitive and they often cannot differentiate between the desirable and undesirable, the internet poses several threats. Nevertheless, with proper parental guidance, the internet can be a very positive influence on kids.
Positive impact of the internet on kids
Since kids are at a stage when the brain has a great capacity to absorb information and store it, exposing them to useful information can be the key to long term benefits. In this age of information, the more informed a person is, better are the chances of success and the internet definitely helps in this regard.
The internet makes the mind alert. It increases ***cognitive skills*** and enhances hand to eye coordination. Some of the most important skills such as ***spatial intelligence***, logic and reasoning, analysis, imagination, abstraction, problem solving and critical thinking can be developed with internet usage. Language and vocabulary improve as well.
A staggering 75% of children in United States do not mind sharing personal information in return for certain products and services
Internet is used by 93% of teenagers and 80% of children below the age of 10
The present world demands strong communication skills and socializing. Although virtual communication cannot be a substitute for meeting real people, it does help in exposing the kids to a much wider platform for interaction. It is also an advantage for people who are introverts. They find a release on the internet, which in turn arms them with the confidence to socialize with people around them.
Negative impact of the internet on kids
While the positive impact of internet on children cannot be denied, there is a rapidly growing school of people who are against encouraging internet usage among kids. The arguments against the virtual medium are not without reason because the internet does cause undeniable harms.
To begin with, the internet turns kids into couch potatoes. Since the medium is very addictive, kids neglect physical activities such as sports. This can have a very bad influence on general health and is one of causes for the increasing trend of obesity in kids. Children are more prone to diseases such as cardiovascular illnesses, ***hypertension*** and diabetes.
Research has also found a very interesting syndrome called the ‘information fatigue’ which is caused when a child is over exposed to information. This leads to reduction in mental briskness and recollection power. The child is easily confused. He fails to demarcate between the real and virtual world and can suffer severe cognitive impairment with prolonged use.
Addiction to the internet leads to drastic fall in general health, sleeping disorders, loss of appetite and ***clinical depression***. Interaction with people in the virtual world can reduce the ability of real world communication. Added to these is the increase in cases of child pornography and abuse through the internet.
So, although the internet does present a number of benefits, regulated and controlled usage is of prime importance.