In 2018 several social networking companies have implemented a parental control option. So that it is possible to regulate the use of the mobile phone by the youngest in the home.
Especially within Facebook, Instagram and other similar applications.
Was it fortunate that last year several managers and senior representatives of these market giants also took the initiative to minimise their children’s interaction with mobile phones and other digital devices?
This does not seem to be a coincidence. Indeed, a report in the New York Times confirms this growing concern to create a controlled environment. Where access to touch screens is not the priority. It’s already an irreversible trend among Silicon Valley’s top developers.
The message this conveys is simple but decisive. You have to know how to set limits so that the use of technology does not turn into abuse.
Advantages and disadvantages of screens according to psychology
Several psychologists have made it clear that although technology itself is not a direct danger, everyone should be aware of how their children use it.
The potential risk behind the excessive use of screen devices is that children may not be able to develop their motor and social functions which are indispensable for their training.
This is the position that Silvia Álava adopts at the moment of approaching the subject. His speech is brief but concise. The educational psychologist reminds parents that children have a lot to learn before they get to know the utilities of a mobile device.
That children should get bored first to understand and learn to deal with frustration later. Play outside, especially in groups, to understand why rules matter and how they help us communicate through the same channel. This and more is what Alava highlights in his works.
Like some of her colleagues at the American Academy of Pediatrics, the psychologist believes that children should not use screens until they are two years old. And after that, use limited to only one hour should always be in the company of an adult.
The advantages that children can find in the use of devices with screens are multiple. Most of them have to do with access to teaching material, but in the overall balance the experts’ opinion is conclusive: the screen can wait.
The digital divide: the more and the less?
Today’s teenagers, the kids who were born in the first decade of the 21st century, allow us to see what the consequences are of the unrestricted use of devices with Internet access. The main index of interest here is the levels of early depression these individuals have.
The clinical psychologist Javier Urra has observed that, as far as social groups are concerned, the process of education of the mind is very similar to that of the body. The less affluent classes have less purchasing power. And the direct result of this is that the intellectual education that members of this group provide for their children is more precarious.
Otherwise, people with higher incomes are able to differentiate between a positive and a negative cultural product. That’s why your children’s “mental nutrition” is more careful and better managed.
The medium-term consequences
Although the outlook is not very clear, several psychology professionals believe that we still have time to create learning models that, without disregarding technology, enable young people to acquire and fully develop their communication skills.
The common goal is clear: not to let the screen be a prerequisite for interaction.