donutmedialab.com — 8 Negative Impacts of the Internet on Children and How to Prevent Them. It is undeniable, the internet has become a big part of the daily activities of many people, and children are no exception.
Although the internet can indeed provide many benefits for children, unfortunately now it is not uncommon to find cases of the negative impact of the internet on children. Therefore, it is better for parents to understand the negative impact of the internet that can be experienced by children before allowing them to use it.
What are the negative effects of the internet on children?
Currently, the negative impact of technological advances is very difficult to avoid from children, one of which is internet addiction. Access to the internet is getting easier for children.
Children can use the internet not only from computers, but also from various other electronic devices (gadgets), such as smartphones, tablets, and television (TV) materials.
Moreover, now children are also required to learn via the internet after the implementation of online schools during the pandemic.
Although the real benefits of the internet are felt by every user, including by children, the negative impact of the internet on children is often unavoidable.
There are several negative impacts of the internet that are at risk for children to experience, such as the following.
1. Difficulty concentrating
Spending too much time using gadgets can make it harder for children to concentrate. Children’s concentration becomes easily disturbed due to the increasing number of notifications or notifications that enter the child’s device.
The increasingly affordable internet access makes it easier for children to get the information they want. Not infrequently, this information requires children to be notified at any time.
As a result of this, the child’s concentration while doing an activity can be disturbed because he wants to see the notification he receives.
Launching from the National University, based on research conducted in Canada, it is known that since around 2000 the average human concentration ability has decreased from 12 seconds to only 8 seconds.
This is why if not observed properly, the internet has a negative impact on children.
2. Difficulty socializing
If you spend too much time alone playing with your device, your child is at risk of experiencing a decrease in the ability to interact socially.
This is because children will interact less directly with the people around them.
Although children may also interact with other people online via the internet, these interactions can lead to different behaviors than when children interact in person.
That’s why, not infrequently a person’s nature can be different when meeting in person and when interacting in cyberspace. This condition can not only be experienced by adults, but also children.
Children may find it easier to feel uncomfortable or insecure about interacting with other people face-to-face.
3. Behavioral disorders
Children tend to have broader imaginations than adults. Therefore, children sometimes have difficulty in distinguishing what is real and what is not.
As a result, children are more at risk of imitating what they see, including content on the internet without knowing whether it is real or can be done.
For example, when viewing content that contains scenes of violence, children may feel attracted to try to do the same. This can make the child become someone who behaves rudely.
On the other hand, when viewing content that is too scary for a child of his age, the child may experience excessive fear and become a coward.
4. Health problems
The negative impact of the internet on children not only affects their mental and behavior, but also their physical health.
When accessing the internet for too long through gadgets, children will look for a comfortable sitting position. In fact, the position is not necessarily good and safe for his physical health.
There are several health problems that can be experienced due to the wrong sitting position, including:
- visual impairment,
- neck pain,
- bone deformity,
- numbness in the arms, hands, and fingers, and body tense.
In addition, sitting for very long periods of time while playing the internet can also increase the risk of children becoming obese.
Sitting too long makes the child less active. As a result, fat is easier to accumulate in the child’s body and weight becomes easy to increase.
5. Difficulty sleeping
Children who are addicted to the internet can experience sleep disturbances. Just like adults, if you use gadgets for too long to access the internet, children can become addicted to it, making it difficult to stop.
Children will probably use most of their time just to play the internet through gadgets. As a result, the child becomes oblivious to other needs that he needs to do, including sleep.
If allowed to happen continuously, children can experience sleep disorders, such as insomnia or decreased sleep quality due to not having enough sleep.
6. Cyber bullying
Cyber bullying has become one of the problems that are often experienced by internet users, including children.
This condition can be serious and dangerous to the point where it can be life threatening. That is why, cyber bullying is one of the negative effects of the internet on children.
Cyber bullying occurs when an internet user attacks another user with words, such as harsh words or even threats.
When using the internet, children are at risk of cyber bullying from other internet users, both someone they know and strangers who have never met in person.
When they rarely socialize due to playing the internet alone for too long, children can feel lonely and are at risk for depression.
The more lonely the child, the more at risk of depression. Children can also experience emotional disorders, such as being aggressive or closing themselves completely from others, including their parents.
Therefore, if your child shows signs and symptoms of loneliness due to depression, such as often being alone and easily anxious, you should immediately seek medical or expert help, such as consulting a psychologist.
8. Decrease in performance
As explained above, although it can help children learn and find new information, the internet can also interfere with children’s concentration.
Children may be easily distracted when there is a new notification on their device, even just want to use the internet to play.
As a result, children will find it more difficult to focus while studying. This will interfere with children’s learning activities so that it can have an impact on their achievement in school.
How to prevent the negative impact of the internet on children
Although it is sometimes difficult to prevent, the negative impact of the internet on children can be avoided if prevention is carried out in a disciplined and continuous manner.
As parents, it is important to be able to guide children in using the internet in order to avoid the negative impacts mentioned above.
The following are some preventive measures that can be taken to avoid the negative impact of the internet on children.
- Limiting children’s time to use gadgets.
- Supervise the content that children see on the internet, including games, photos, movies, and music.
- Invite children to interact directly, for example by talking or playing together.
- Guiding children when learning via the internet so that children remain concentrated and focused.
- Maintain a close relationship with the child so that the child can be open about what he is experiencing, including if he experiences cyber bullying.
By making these efforts, it is hoped that children can be safer and more awake in using the internet on a daily basis.