The Negative Effects of Technology on Children’s Social Development

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Children are being exposed to technology at a younger age every generation. The average age that a child received a cell phone in 2006 was thirteen (Carter). In 2009 that age dropped down to eight, according to Tribune Business Journal. The use of technology by children negatively affects interpersonal communication skills because it limits social interactions and development and this is important because it affects future jobs, relationships and health.

“Cognitive development is the construction of thought process, including remembering, problem solving and decision making from childhood through adolescence to adulthood.” (Lloyd 15) If, during “critical periods of development” (Cole 13), the child misses an important developmental skill, the ball is set rolling, and the child will be behind his or her peers. One critical period is around when a child is about eight years old. Here, they begin to learn how to communicate their needs effectively and polish their thought process. These specific thought process skills include assimilation, accommodation, and adaptation. According to Piaget, assimilation is the process by which various experiences are mentally taken in and incorporated into existing schemas. Accommodation is taking what is experienced and applying it to new and old information and adaptation is taking the information processed and changing their behavior based on the experience. This is the very core of the human thought process. If this stage of mental development is missed, the foundation for future developmental skills is fragile. How a child at eight years old might miss this stage is by replacing face to face conversations with adults, with texting or fragmented phone call conversations with peers. The evidence of the effects of technology on children’s social skills is most notable in school, where they do the most socializing. However, when observing students in school today, versus ten years ago, there are drastic differences. At first...
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