Should There Be Age Restrictions To Use The Internet? Argumentative Essay Examples
There should be certain age restrictions regarding the usage of internet. Along with its millions of positive points, it has lots of negative implications on the minds of the young too. In a survey carried out by Microsoft, they found out that the average age at which parents allow their children to access the internet is as low as eight years old. Almost 29% parents allowed their off springs an unsupervised access to the mobile phone, whereas for computers it was as high as 40% (Wilson, 2015). The number of children using the social networking sites as a means of communication is increasing at a fast pace. Children are limiting their interactions with real friends and are instead busy with their virtual friends. They are thus losing contact with the real world. In a research conducted by Livingstone et al., they found out that 38% children in the age group of 9-12 years old have a Facebook account and 77% of 13-16 years old have the same. Their reports also show that younger users are more likely to have their account ‘public’ than the older ones, which automatically make them more prone to risks of being exploited or misguided. Almost 20% of the children who have a public display profile have their address and phone number being available to all (Livingstone et al., 2011). In another study by Subrahmanyam and Greenfield, they concluded that the children nowadays are getting under sexual predation as a result of their interactions with strangers through social networking sites. Even at times they may face racism and receive hatred messages which may have a detrimental effect on their psychology (Subrahmanyam and Greenfield, 2008). Livingstone and Helsper in a survey of 1511 children and 906 parents found out that children in the age group of 12-17 years of age run the highest risk of being affected by online risks (Livingstone and Helsper, 2008).
The age related regulation will provide a bar on the illegitimate usage of the internet by the children. They will be protected from being exposed to contents over the internet which is harmful for their mental well being. The children, who are too immature to understand the facts properly, form a picture in their mind which at times is not correct. Thus somehow they are misguided and form a wrong impression of things which if they would have seen or read at the right age would not have had a negative impact on their minds.
The prolonged on- screen time not only have a bad effect on the mental health but also on the physical health of the children, who waste much of their valuable time on wasteful things like social networking, gaming etc., weakness of vision at an early age, improper sitting postures leading to abnormalities of the spine, decreased attention span are few among the long list of the adverse outcomes.
The parents should keep a check on the internet usage by the children. They should ask the internet providers to ban the explicit sites on their network so that the children may not gain access to any of those sites. They should be explained the reason behind why it is being done, or else simply doing so will make them more curious and they will find other resorts to know more about them.
Livingstone, S., & Helsper, E. (2008). Parental Mediation of Children's Internet Use. Journal Of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 52(4), 581-599. doi:10.1080/08838150802437396
Livingstone, Sonia, Ólafsson, Kjartan, Staksrud, & Elisabeth,. (2011). Social networking, age and privacy - LSE Research Online. Eprints.lse.ac.uk. Retrieved 11 February 2015, from http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/35849/
Subrahmanyam, K., & Greenfield, P. (2008). Online Communication and Adolescent Relationships.The Future Of Children, 18(1), 119-146. doi:10.1353/foc.0.0006
Wilson, M. (2015). At what age should children be allowed to use the internet?. BetaNews. Retrieved 11 February 2015, from http://betanews.com/2013/10/15/at-what-age-should-children-be-allowed-to-use-the-internet/