Toddlers and Tech


Anna Odell, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Over time, technology has become increasingly popular and almost vital to our everyday lives. Computers are used for school or work, phones are needed to get in touch with our friends and loved ones, and the media helps to spread important information throughout the world. Revolving our lives around technology has become normalized and many parents have started to give their children tablets and phones to keep them entertained. Giving children electronics at a young age doesn’t only harm them—it also deprives them of a true childhood experience. 

I remember getting my first phone right before entering middle school at the age of 11. I was allowed to have one so I could keep in touch with my parents during school hours in case something happened. Unfortunately, children much younger than I was are now being allowed to spend extended periods of time on tablets, and, most of the time, it’s for recreational use, not safety. By the age of eight, kids are already spending at least six hours a day on tablets according to OSF Healthcare

“Toddlers who frequently play on tablets or phones are at a higher risk of problems such as hyperactivity, poor concentration, and friendship issues,” stated Sky News.

Concentration issues caused by increased use of technology at young ages will affect kids’ performance in school and can even cause an addiction to technology at a very young age. Making friends is a very important part of a child’s life, but if they spend most of their time on tablets or phones, they won’t have the time to make friends, ultimately affecting how they socialize and whether or not they can make deep connections later on in life. 

This “addiction” can also cause tantrums. We can compare it to withdrawal symptoms in any kind of addiction. If you take away whatever the person is addicted to, they’ll protest or, in the case of a toddler, throw a tantrum. 

Little Things stated that spending so much time on phones or tablets can also increase the risk of mental illness or potentially even be the cause of it. “It’s easier to be emotionally detached when online [and] more people are cyberbullied.” 

Because of this detachment, children are more likely to care less about their words and actions towards others, which can cause anxiety, depression, and  self-esteem issues. 

The Healthy Journal stated, “more screen time was also associated with a 7% higher risk of internalizing problems like anxiety and depression.” 

Jada Palma, a senior at Arcadia High School stated, “I’ve noticed for this generation of the ‘younger kids’ have become more concealed, almost trapped or glued to today’s technology that we rarely see what a childhood truly is. They’ve been so used to the idea of having a tablet or phone that it’s become almost “essential” for their age. Parents obviously see this as an opportunity for them to have that leverage of “rest,” and it’s sadly become everyone’s reliability towards technology.” 

Allowing kids to be kids is incredibly important in their development. Playing on the playground during recess with their friends, coming up with creative ways to entertain themselves, and just being aware of reality should be how a child grows up. Although technology is very helpful in the sense that it allows us to communicate faster, have easy access to information, and can occupy a child while the parent needs time alone, it can seriously affect the child mentally and can be harmful in their lives. We shouldn’t be giving young kids technology, at least not until they are at an age where it won’t negatively impact their growing up and not until they have had a regular and healthy childhood experience away from the world of technology and electronics. 


Photo courtesy of UNSPLASH.COM