"Let your child be connected, but let yourself protect your child"
Digital Technologies does not only permeate every aspect of current economy and society, but also becoming an essential element of children’s lives today. It could provide considerable benefits for education and development, but at the same time, it exposes children to online risks such as access to inappropriate contents, destructive interactions with other children or even with adults, and vulnerability to hostile marketing practices. Also, children’s online interaction can put their computer system at risks especially today’s growing hacking attacks and dissemination of personal data without fathoming the potential long-term privacy consequences. Apart from all these, what is Digital Technologies and how can it be both beneficial and detrimental to children?
Digital Technologies are “electronic tools, systems, devices and resources that generate, store or process data. These includes social media, online games and applications, multimedia, productivity applications, cloud computing, interoperable systems and mobile devices” (Victoria State Government, 2017). Nowadays, children are increasingly immersed in digital technologies and most of their communication is now online, whether for leisure or entertainment. According to a child Psychologist, Dr. Richard Woolfson, children are exposing themselves to content, people or situations that are completely out of their depth yet in which they are not emotionally prepared for (Woolfson, 2014). New York Times has reported that “there is mounting indirect evidence that constant use of technology can affect behavior, particularly in developing brains, because of heavy stimulation and rapid shifts in attention” (Richtel, 2012).
However, the risks can be minimized by monitoring the quantity and content of children’s use of technologies. Parents are highly advised to monitor their children’s online interaction and impose a sensible curfew on usage of technology. As a matter of fact, it is unwise to assert digital technology as inherently good or bad. The value of it depends on how it is being used (by who, when and what for).
The internet gives innumerable opportunities for positive benefit such as improving our ability to communicate and accessing different forms of information. What is communicated and what information is accessed is not determined by the internet itself but by its users.