How Internet Affects Children Research Paper Examples
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It has widely been ascertained that the effect that the internet has on children can be both good and bad, depending on the way in which it is used. Children have become so dependent on the internet, that even a simple task such as looking for a word is not done with a dictionary unless it is online. In times gone by, children would incorporate playtime into their days, but not so, with the popularity of the internet. They now play video games and refuse to study, or even to go outside. If they choose to use the internet for good, then the resources that would be available to them would ensure that they would be, and remain at the top of their classes. This paper will show, in addition to the different researches that have been conducted, just how the internet can be of great benefit, or detriment to the children of today. The paper will outline the ways in which it can be used for good and bad at the same time and the positive effects it has for the children who choose to use it for good, as opposed to the mostly negative effects for those who use it for bad and the outcome of such negative actions.
Over the years, studies have shown that with excessive use of the internet, comes a dependency and sometimes addiction, that is not easily broken. These same studies have found that children are more at risk of becoming addicted than adults. They spend entire days watching movies, shows, downloading, uploading, playing games and interacting with their peers, than they spend studying, or reading a book. The rate at which children’s grades have declined with increased use of the internet is very high, especially among adolescents. A more structured approach would be required from parents and caregivers to stem the decline in students’ grades. The internet can cause a multitude of problems for children who use it unsupervised. They can get into problems with their parents, visit sites that they are not allowed on and cause them to be lured away by strangers.
Children are unaware of the dangers that lurk on the internet. The effects that the internet has on children are not all bad, as there are some who are on a quest for knowledge and know that they can become more knowledgeable with the vast amount of information that is available on the internet (Livingstone, Haddon and Gorzig). In one study, the internet was used to give children an effective way of learning about proper nutrition. The research methodology was an online game dubbed ETIOBE Mates. It was made to improve the nutritional knowledge that children possessed. There were 228 participants split into two groups. The outcome was an increased score for the knowledge that they had on nutrition. The study was conducted based on the fact that children already had access to the internet, so it enabled the concepts and skills to be taught with more interaction and entertainment.
Even though this is a positive way in which the internet can be utilized for children, it shows that they would not have achieved the same results if it was not presented in that manner (Banos et al.). One article looked at the intrapersonal, the interpersonal and the transpersonal effect that the internet has on children. It states that the intrapersonal has to do with self, the intrapersonal pertains to the relationship with others and the transpersonal effect is one that deals with the type of perspectives that transcends the norm. It went on to further explain the dangers that children were exposed to on the internet. New information shows the ways in which children use the internet and how their social development skills can be affected. The information also shows the effects of the exposure that the children have to pornography, which can be easily accessed on the internet.
Cyber-bullying, predators, pedophiles and perverts are also a part of the exposure. Researches were conducted on the lack of inhibition that adults and children experience on the internet and their tendency to disclose information while they are online. Online dating, online sex and blogs which encourage lewdness, are also explored as a threat to children and adults who are not internet savvy. At the same time the positives are outlined as well. People are able to work online, meet potential mates and find long lost family members. They can communicate, seek online therapy, a way to expand their consciousness and a way to gain increasing knowledge (Gackenbach).
This trend extends also to the way in which children view ads on the internet. The amount that is spent by the Food and Beverage Industry on an average exceeds 1.8 billion dollars per year, in marketing unhealthy food choices to children. These children are bombarded with these types of advertisements, not only on their television, but also by way of the internet and now also video games, known as advergames and I-video games. Research shows that marketing plays an important part of the diet of a child and their level of obesity. Many parents are unaware of the extent of the effect that this type of marketing has on their children. An examination of the practices of children online are somewhat positive and are carried out in relation to many real life activities. Children can do school work, have constructive discussions with their peers and interact in a positive way. Their internet use was observed to have increased over time. The internet use of adolescents and children varied with each country, depending on parents’ influence, demographics, accessibility options and other variables, thus some were only allowed on for a short period of time and were forced to make constructive use of their time (Harris et al.).
Children are exposed to different kinds of disadvantages while they interact on social media on the internet. In an article that outlined the pros and cons of social media-use by tweens and teens, one article points out the ways in which social media can be beneficial to a child by promoting their social interaction, communication and technical skills. In the same way it can be harmful to a child by exposing them to cyber bullying, harassment, sexting, divulging information to unknown parties and the disadvantages of using sites such as Facebook. The article shows how pediatricians can be of assistance to parents and advocates that parents make a concerted effort to monitor their children in their online activities (Katz).
Yet another set of Psychotherapists, offer insight into the different types of cultural shifts that can be caused by the internet and technology. Their research shows that even though the internet and communication can bring people closer together, it can also build a proverbial bridge between family members and push them farther apart. In the same way that the child becomes more dependent on the internet , he becomes less dependent on parents and how, not only the society, but relationships and communication is impacted by the new connection. It shows where technology was in the past, where it is today and just where it is expected to go in the future. The book includes current research on the impact that the internet has on parenting, dating, intimacy and relationships, while it explores the ways in which technology affects relationships and communication and the history. The book shows that technology, and by extension, communication has bridged the generation gap and the challenges it presents, as well as ways in which this challenge can be addressed (Weiss and Schneider).
Different perils that can be faced online by children is addressed in addition to digital relationships. The authors address questions regarding the early use of smartphones and digital media in a social setting (O’Keefe and Clark-Pearson).
One research identified several ways in which the experiences of patients who go online could affect their health. These include finding information about one’s condition, getting the support from others who have experienced the same symptoms, imitating their behavior and maintaining a relationship with these individuals who have recovered or are recovering. The article showed how the everyday experiences, including illness and health are shaped by the internet. The reach extends to health care professionals who also use the internet for the exchange of information on certain illnesses. The use of the internet to share other individual’s health experiences has raised concern in some quarters. How society valued the account of a first person, the memorability, or appeal of the stories of survival and recovery, the need of some individuals to feel connected to others and sharing the accounts of others’ personal experiences, is an indication that these are the key features of the e-health experience. Not all remedies, experiences and solutions that are found online can be trusted, as many are the efforts of mass marketing and are there fore not reliable. The act of participating in creating content about health is also a major issue that can affect the experiences of patients, as well as the information they receive and the management of their health care (Ziebland and Wyke).
In conclusion, the literature has suggested that the different ways in which the internet can affect children are more bad than good. Even if children are internet savvy, they are not knowledgeable in the ways of the world, and this is what is permeating the internet. Not all children possess the discipline to use the internet for knowledge and not getting into trouble. Perpetrators have sought ways to use the internet to commit crimes, because they feel that they are hidden in cyberspace. Children can know how to perform internet-related activities on the internet and be really smart about it, but when it comes to the dangers that it presents, they are clueless. As a result, children should be monitored by parents and caregivers when they access the internet and should be allowed to use it under strict supervision.
Banos, R.M, et al. "Efficacy and acceptability of an Internet platform to improve the learning of nutritional knowledge in children: the ETIOBE mates ." Health Education Research (2012): 59-66. Article.
Gackenbach, Jayne. Psychology and the Internet: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, and Transpersonal Implications . New York: Academic Press, 2011. E-Book.
Gackenbach's novel outlines how damaging an internet addiction can be for a
Harris, Jennifer L., et al. "US Food Company Branded Advergames on the Internet: Children's exposure and effects on snack consumption." Journal of Children Media (2012): 51-68. Article.
Katz, Linda S. Evolution in Reference and Information Services: The Impact of the Internet. London: Routledge, 2013. Book.
Livingstone, Sonia M., Leslie Haddon and Gorzig Anke. Children, Risk and Safety on the Internet: Research and Policy Challenges in Comparative Perspective. Boston: Policy Press, 2012. E-Book.
O'Keefe, Gween and Kathleen Clarke-Pearson. "The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families." Pediatrics (2011): 800-804. Article.
Weiss, Robert and Jennifer P. Schneider. Closer Together, Further Apart: The Effect of Technology and the Internet on Parenting, Work, and Relationships . Carefree: Gentle Path Press, 2014. Book.
Ziebland, Sue and Sally Wyke. "Health and Illness in a Connected World:
How Might Sharing Experiences on the Internet Affect People's Health?" The Millbank Quarterly (2012): 219-249. Article.
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