The Impact of Technology on Minors

There is no denying the humongous impact technology has had on the world. Technology has integrated into most facets of life and will most likely continue to expand its capabilities in the future. We’ve seen the effect that technology can have in things like communication with instant messaging, healthcare with prosthetic limbs, and transportation with rideshare apps or bullet trains. Not only has technology impacted what we do, it has also impacted how we behave and learn. This is most apparent within children, whose lives have been affected the most by technology.
Kids are growing up with much more technology than ever before. In 2016, the United States Census found that about 89 percent of households owned a computer (this statistic includes smartphones) and 58 percent owned a tablet. Considering that the amount of people with computers has probably grown since 2016, it means that approximately 9 in 10 kids are growing up with easy access to the internet. This access to the internet is changing the fundamental ways in which kids interact with each other. Now, with access to social media, not only children, but people of all ages are given platforms to express their feelings, thoughts, and opinions in a way that is public to everyone. The dynamic of popularity in school has become centered around social media, with many people vying to acquire more followers.
Social media presents both a harmful and positive impact on kids. People can be caught up in how many likes their posts get or how many followers they have, causing anxiety over a low-follower count, or an inflated ego ove a high one. It’s important to understand that follower counts aren’t indicative of your worth as a person so that you don’t become obsessed with social media. Additionally, with the constant news and information being shared on social media, it can also be emotionally exhausting to consume all of it. While there are many negative impacts, social media can also be useful as a way to communicate with others or even meet new people. Being able to have a conversation with multiple people without having to call or be in person can be very useful, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, where being together physically is dangerous. Social media is complicated, as it’s effects vary from person to person.
Speaking for myself, technology has influenced me in many ways. I was diagnosed with Autism when I was young, and as such, I’ve always had issues with socialization. Social media and other things like online games or texting have helped get me out of shell, and even reconnect with some old friends who I wouldn’t have been able to talk to otherwise. Using the internet, I can communicate with friends or family no matter how far away they are, and I am thankful for that.
The question of how safe the internet is for children has been raised several times in the past, as more and more kids are getting on the internet at an early age. I believe that in the future, attempts will be made to try and make the internet safer for minors. Whether they are successful or not is uncertain, but with technology being so impactful towards children, it needs to be made sure that there is a positive influence being made. I hope that the solution that is created can help alleviate the downsides of social media and the internet for kids.

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