Published on Oct 10, 2021
How Does Technology have Negative Effects on Children's Social Skills?
Technology is everywhere around us, and its use has been mushrooming for over a decade. There are technologies for anything and everything making us dependent on technology to an extreme level.
Technology has had such a profound impact on our lives that it is impossible to imagine life without it. Therefore, we can say that there is technology addiction among people.
One of the most significant areas where technology has made an enormous impact is the communication field. The advancement of technology has brought massive development in telecommunication and electronic components. In addition, the internet has brought people closer and changed the way people interact.
There is no doubt IT has made human interaction much easier, but it does have some adverse effects. So before jumping into the negative impact of technology on social skills, let’s take a look at the positive impact of technology on social skills.
Positive Effects of Technology on Social Skills
Internet and IT have made the global world closer than ever before. Here are the positive effects of technology on social skills:
Faster and Easier Communication
Writing letters and waiting for replies for months was one of the most prolonged communication processes. However, with the invention of the telephone, the communication process became much more straightforward. Furthermore, with the development and advancement of the internet, you can have face-to-face interactions with people from all around the globe with a single click.
For instance, your company can connect with its sister companies located in another country and give details about the ongoing activities of your company within a minute.
In a nutshell, we can say that communication tasks used to take months to complete can be completed in a single click, all thanks to scientific know-how and IT.
You can connect with people worldwide; it’s all possible due to the internet and electronic components. Language barriers are being minimized due to hi-tech and scientific knowledge. You can have a conversation with people from any country in your language; the machine itself can translate your language into any foreign language as per your preference.
The world has been a small village, where you can communicate with people from all over the world. Businesses can contact and create customers from people of different countries. They can take feedback from customers despite geographical barriers.
Easier for Learning
Until the Covid-19, online learning was not as popular as it is now. After the Covid-19, many schools and teaching institutions have shifted their learning to online. Children and teens can learn from their bedroom or any corner of their home due to the internet.
Even in schools, there are smartboards, printers, computers, and many more that have helped students learn.
Similarly, your toddlers can learn rhymes, alphabets, shapes, and more through the internet at a young age. Many free educational websites for kids are being developed almost every week, giving lots of learning opportunities for students. Likewise, children and teens can connect with children of similar age and communicate with them.
Problem Solving Skills
If you have any problems, google them, and you'll get thousands of possible solutions. There are many experts from different fields who share solutions for problems that are likely to occur.
In the past, solving any problem was not this easiest. For example, to solve one problem, people have to go through different processes. But now you can connect with experts, take their suggestions and solve their problems within a minute.
For instance, programmers can write down their problems in the programming groups on the internet and get solutions to their problems from programmers of any country.
Parental Control in Emergency
Parents can connect with their children even when they are at their work. They can keep an eye on their children while working or doing any work. Monitoring children has been easier with the use of computers and hi-tech machines.
For instance, parental control apps monitor your kids’ smartphones and see what tween and teens are doing on their phone, social media they use. You can even check their screen time, amount of time spent on each app, and more.
Parents can even use smartwatches to keep track of children’s whereabouts and contact them anytime.
Negative Effects of Technology on Social Skills
As mentioned above, the advancement of technology has made an enormous impact on the way people interact. The way people communicate has changed. Children's social skills are at risk due to the overuse of digital technology.
Even though there are many positive sides of technology on social skills, its adverse effects outweigh its positive sides. Negative effects of technology on social skills are:
Lack of Confidence to Communicate
Due to the overuse of technology for communication, people lack the confidence to communicate face-to-face. Your children probably prefer to text you instead of coming to your room when they need to have a conversation with you. Doing so may seem convenient to you, but continuing this practice further can affect your child’s communication skills.
Children and teens are constantly busy on their cellphones chatting with their peers and even some strangers. When we look at it, it seems like they have good communication skills. But when you make the same child talk with some random strangers or with their peers, they lack confidence.
So, the increase in screen time among people has affected their interaction and social networking skills. As a result, many children and teens find it challenging to make friends in real life but tend to make fake friends on social media.
Lacks Phone Skills
With the increase in social media and other texting apps, people prioritize text messages more than audio or video calls. As a result, the younger generations feel awkward and are reluctant to have a phone conversation.
Even when they make a call, they will talk about why they have made calls. However, they lack the basic courtesy of phone skills that they might need in their professional life.
Many corporate houses want their employees to have the skill of engaging their customers on the phone for a long time and have strong conversational skills. However, overuse of the latest texting and chatting apps, the young gens are unable to do so.
Difficult to Maintain Eye Contact
According to the common sense media recent study, teens spend an average of 7.5 hours on their digital devices. So now you can make a guess when a teen continuously looks at their phone for such a long time, excluding time they spend on other digital media. Therefore, it becomes difficult for them to make a proper conversation by making eye contact with people in their real life.
Eye contact indeed plays a vital role while communicating and socializing. Your eyes and body language provide more meaning to what you want to say. But due to the overuse of technology, people are facing difficulty not just socializing but also making eye contact with people.
Making eye contact shows your confidence while making conversation or conveying something significant. While you socialize by making eye contact, you tend to leave a good and robust impression among people.
Isolation is a common problem that technology development has brought. People can lock themselves in their room, spend time with their gadgets and isolate themselves without getting bored at all. Increased screen time leads to an increase in isolation among people.
They may have 1000s of friends in the virtual world they feel void in their real life. Teens and young adults may spend all night chatting with people from any corner of the world. But when they keep their devices down, they start to feel lonely and isolated.
Even at some parties, tweens and teens try to stay at some corners using their mobile devices, either surfing the internet or playing video games. They try to skip interaction with people around them and find happiness in their digital gadgets.
Depression and Anxiety
Because of a lack of in-person communication, people are feeling depressed and facing problems of anxiety. In addition, they are so much indulged in the technology world that they forget about their mental health.
If you look at the social media world, there is always some competition among people. Whether to get more likes or followers or be the most famous face on the social media world, people are always anxious to be the best.
Likewise, teens and children are facing depression and other mental health problems. In addition, many video games are being developed that have severe effects on children.
Aside from that, many cyber crimes have taken place, which caused depression and teen anxiety among people.
Difficult to Show Emotion
Technology has made it easier for people to hide their feelings and helped people fake their emotions. You may have your own experience of sending laughing emojis even when you don’t want to smile.
People are having difficulty expressing what they are feeling. Even when they feel low or depressed, they have to show a happy face in the digital world which eventually harms their emotional wellbeing.
Roles of Parents to Develop Social Skills
Parents have a major responsibility to give their children the best upbringing. As a parent, you need to teach your kids how to balance the online and real world. Some major roles of parents to develop social skills are:
Limit Digital Device
As mentioned, if there is no limit for technology use, children can use it all day and night. Teens and young adults can spend more time on their digital media than people of other ages. They make technology a gateway for any situation they do not like to face, eventually reducing their social skills, mostly among young generations.
Thereby, parents must set limits on technology usages among children as technology affects children the most. Parents are worried about their children's screen time for which they are using apps like parental control apps. Some of the best parental control apps that you can use to limit digital device usages among children are fenced.ai, Bark, Qustodio, etc.
Set an Example
Young ones learn primarily by looking at their parents. If you are one of those parents who use technology for all the activities, then it is likely that your kids will do the same. Your children will use digital media for every activity they do. Also, they cannot think about doing activities without machinery.
Hence, at first, you should stop using your device for all the work you do. It would help if you used it only for specific work. Your kids will do the same by using devices only for particular work and being less dependent on high tech. You need to set a good example at home which your kids can follow.
Understand Your Child’s Nature
All the children might not have the same kind of social skills. Some children are highly extroverted and want to make new friends and develop their social networks. But, at the same time, some can be introverted and are shy to talk or make new friends.
Therefore, you need to understand the nature of your children before you force them to develop social skills. For example, if you have introverted children, you should try to socialize with a few people and slowly develop their socialization skills.
Encourage Face-to-Face Communication
In-person conversations are lacking due to the overuse of digital devices. Parents give devices to their toddlers to keep them busy while they are doing their work. Because of which little ones are having difficulty making conversation as they grow up. Tweens and teens prefer text over face-to-face conversation.
You, as a parent, should first stop using technology as a pacifier. It would help if you frequently had conversations with your toddler, which helps develop their social skills at a very young age.
Likewise, you need to stop replying to your teen message if they are texting when you both are at home. Instead, you should call them to your room or have a frequent conversation whenever you are free.
Make Devices Free Area
In this technological era, there are digital devices at every corner of your home. No homes are free of technology; all homes have at least one device. Cell phones, TV, tablets, laptops are the most used devices among young ones.
Children use their devices to avoid conversation and avoid socialization. You can stop the TV while you are having conversations with your kids. Make your children’s room technology accessible and give them books instead.
Even though technology has negative effects, we cannot deny that it has made our daily lives so convenient. It has negatively affected children's social skills, so instead of restricting them from using tech, you can help your kids build good device habits.
Aware your kids about the best and worst sides of social media, online gaming risks, and many more. However, digital parenting is still essential for teens, whether they like it or not.
What are the three negative impacts of technology on society?
There are many negative impacts of technology on society; the top three negative impacts are:
- Physical Effects
- Mental Health
- Social Skills
How does technology affect us socially?
Technology has affected our communication process; we are not just limited to small friends circles. Due to technology, we can make lots of friends, and our interaction process has completely changed.
Do people need technology in their lives?
Despite all the negative impacts of technology in our daily life, technology has been our basic necessity. For every task, we are dependent on technology.