Children and Distractions of Technology

With the new technology, it is getting harder to keep children occupied without something electronic in their hands. Games are meant to draw the player in and keep them wanting to do better or get to the next level. This has taken control of time and the attention span children and adults have. While adults do play on electronics, children are starting at a younger age and it is considered normal. This can be a concern for their attention span and work ethics.

The other day, for example, showed me how kids choose to spend time in the worlds on their electronics instead of paying attention to the things around them. I had noticed a couple little kids sitting on the bleachers at a softball game. I was there to support my sister and they were there to support their siblings as well. Instead of paying attention to the game, the kids were either eating, complaining to go in the car, and playing games on their devices. After a while, this bothered me. I realized at points i do the same thing, but it was during a softball game and it was distracting. This example shows how we can pick our own personal enjoyment over others. If this is what children are choosing to do in their free time, how is their attention span in school affected by technology?

Schools allow technology to be used for help with work and also as a way to complete some assignments. While this can be a way to get students to be creative and think outside the box, it might also lead to distractions. Teachers understand the difficulties with the loss of attention span due to electronics. In a study, it was found that 60% of the teachers said constant technology use “hindered students’ abilities to write and communicate in person. (Barret) “The ubiquity of digital technology in all realms of life isn't going away, but if students don’t learn how to concentrate and shut out distractions, research shows they’ll have a much harder time succeeding in almost every area.” Katrina Schwartz writes. In her writing, she has information backing this up. Since the brain is the last part of the body to finish maturing, it has a lot of time to grow. Constant technology use can affect the brain in a negative way. The brain requires “exercise” to stay focused. The part of the brain that controls focus is also the part of the brain that controls emotions and empathy. (Schwartz) This can lead to problems later on in life. While technology can be helpful in some aspects of life, exposure at an early age can be more harmful than helpful.

Schwartz, Katrina. “Age of Distraction: Why It’s Crucial for Students to Learn to Focus.” MindShift. 5 Dec. 2013. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/12/05/age-of-distraction-why-its-crucial-for-students-to-learn-to-focus/>.

Barret, Victoria. “A New Label For Kids Today: The Distracted Generation.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 1 Nov. 2012. Web. 28 Apr. 2015. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriabarret/2012/11/01/a-new-label-for-kids-today-the-distracted-generation/>.

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