In the recent decade the usage of computer has skyrocketed, especially due to the ease of accessibility to getting an internet connection. As more and more internet computer are made available in the schools, public libraries and homes, kids are spending more and more time online as a result. Although internet provides a lot of educational information and resources for learning new things, it can also be used as a source of unlimited entertainment since there are lots of games, videos, music and other means of entertainment available freely online. Therefore, kids are spending too much time online these days; although they can learn a lot of good things on the computer, there are lots of disadvantages to this kind excessive exposure to the internet.
Internet serves as a huge information reservoir now days since lots of new websites have been created. Therefore, schools have been installing computer for students to use for their educational purposes. But it is quite interesting to note that just in year 2003, more than 3 out of 4 children had access to a computer at home; it has been growing since 1984 (Home Computer Access and Internet Use , 2006). The number should be far greater now as the computers have gotten cheaper and many households use them for multiple purposes such as information research, email, photo sharing, documentation and much more.
There are many other advantages of providing kids access to the computer. They can not only find more new things online, but it is also fun for them. According to Susan in her research paper “Computers and Young Children,” there are so many benefits to kids using computer in terms of their academic and life skills such as enhanced mathematical thinking, increased scored on tests of critical thinking and standardized language assessments and better problem solving skills (Haugland, 2000). One of the most common things teen do online these days are visit their own profile webpages on social networking sites.
With the advent of social networking websites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter populating the online world, more and more kids find online as their choice to “hang out” instead of going outside. And once they are on the computer, they stay on it for long time since there are so many things and every day there is new information there. Within the past five years, the use of internet by kids has increased more than 60 percent. This population is growing to become one of the largest demographic groups of internet users. Therefore, it is no surprise when the Nielsen claims that “in May 2009, children aged 2-11 comprised nearly 16 million, or 9.5 percent, of the active online universe” (The Nielsen Company, 2009).
Most parents feel ok when their kids visit online every day, but they start to worry once their kids used computer out of controllably. And there is a good reason for that – excessive usage could lead to an addiction – internet addiction. Internet addiction can halt child’s education when her or she start going to their online web pages more than doing homework on a daily basis.
- Home Computer Access and Internet Use . (2006). Retrieved August 30, 2009, from Child Trends Databank: http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/pdf/69_PDF.pdf
- Teenagers ‘spend an average of 31 hours online’. (2009, February 10). Retrieved 08 15, 2009, from Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/4574792/Teenagers-spend-an-average-of-31-hours-online.html
- Haugland, S. W. (2000, March). Computers and Young Children. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from Early Childhood Quality Network: http://ceep.crc.uiuc.edu/eecearchive/digests/2000/haugland00.pdf
- The Nielsen Company. (2009, July 06). Nielsen. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from Nielsen Online Data Quick Take: Kids Online: http://en-us.nielsen.com/main/news/news_releases/2009/july/Nielsen_Online_Data_Quick_Take__Kids_Online
- Melton, B. & Shankle, S. (2007). What in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?: How to Understand the Electronic World Your Children Live In. New York: Random House.
- Johnson, S. (2004). Keep Your Kids Safe on the Internet. New Jersey: McGraw Hill.
- Kraut R, Patterson M, Lundmark V, Kiesler S, Mukopadhyay T, Scherlis W (1998).
- Internet paradox: A social technology that reduces social involvement and psychological well-being? Am Psychol. 53:1017–31.