Chapter 5: Technology Use and Impacts in Children, Youth and Young Adults
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a tool, called The Family Media Plan, to help families create a plan for their children’s use of media. This tool can be a real help as families negotiate the amount of time children spend with technology and screens. Yet is it realistic to expect that families would be able to follow through on this plan? Why? Or why not?
This textbook provides an overview of developmental differences, technology uses, and potential concerns and benefits across age groups. Yet research is growing on specific aspects of technology/device/application and child age and impact. Identify an area that you are most interested in, and present what the research and policy literature says about it. Even if you find just a few studies or reports from reputable sources, try your hand at summarizing recent findings. For example, Fortnite is popular with children, prompting questions about gaming effects on children’s socialization. Your post would examine research on children in middle childhood (6–12 years) who play interactive games, and what impacts have been found. What are the recommendations for parents and practitioners? Have industry standards been recommended or other policy action? Provide your perspective — what draws your interest to this (for instance, are you a gamer? do you work with school-age children?) and what you take from the research.
Particularly sensitive issues like depression and suicide, cyberbullying, child privacy, sex trafficking, children’s exposure to influencers on guns, and videogame addiction can be sensationalized in the press and in conversation among parents and educators. Select a hot-button issue and argue for a rational understanding of technology’s role. Doing so brings up the pros and cons of the internet, and of users, influencers, and our wider and global society’s involvement.