There are numerous positive effects of the internet upon children and young people; however there are also many negative effects which need to be considered as well. Many potential problems regarding the negative impact of the internet on children have already been identified such as Cyberbullying and Problem Internet Use. It is important for practitioners to know that problematic use of the internet, when it results in significant emotional detachment and social isolation, can severely impact negatively on childhood development. The potential to develop serious problems regarding the negative impact of the internet cannot be overstated in this regards.
The impact of the internet on children and young people is a major concern in light of increasing instances of bullying and cyber bullying. Cyberbullies are those individuals who target other young children or young adults via various means such as instant messaging and email. Most cases involve physical confrontation and one offender threatening or bullying another using the internet. The internet in most cases enables them to remain anonymous, hence the name “Cyberbully”. This type of bullying can be very distressing for the victims and in most cases will result in them being unable to function normally in society and lead very isolated lives.
It is important to note that there are many positive benefits which accrue from appropriate use of the media. For instance, there are countless stories of how kids have been inspired to pursue education and sports through the help of media. Additionally, there are countless stories of how these young people have achieved important goals in their academic careers and have subsequently went on to do extraordinary things such as becoming professional athletes. This type of inspirational young people – known as heroes – are a testament to the power of the media. With this in mind, it is important to understand the positive effects that can be accrued through the appropriate use and benefit of the media.
As well as the many positive effects of the media technology has on young people, it also has a negative effect on young adults and the impact is even greater. This is because the negative effects do not just affect the victims but the entire society as well. One common effect is that it can negatively affect the mental health of the individual. In some cases, it can lead to depression and suicidal thoughts. Also, it can lead to a lack of intimacy in relationships and it can also lead to the withdrawal from social groups and activities.
Another example is that it has been found that the use and exposure to media technology has promoted social skills in young people that they are able to utilise in their future lives. For example, it was found that by playing computer and video games, children were learning the ability to think for themselves, independently and creatively. It is these independent, creative and thinking skills which are going to be important traits when young people are growing up and this is something that they will need to be equipped with when they go to school. They will also need to be able to communicate with others socially. Therefore, it makes sense that by playing computer and video games, children are being introduced to the social skills that they will need to develop throughout their childhood and into school and college.
One other benefit of the internet for children is the increased interactivity it allows. It can be argued that this is one of the biggest advantages of the internet for youngsters because it allows for the exchange of information, knowledge and ideas which are essential for any healthy learning environment. It is for this reason that smartphone apps have become so popular with parents and youngsters alike. The fact that there are apps for everything under the sun makes life easier for all concerned. From games to apps that teach kids how to be more confident and outgoing, there are plenty of smartphone apps which cater to the needs of younger children who are interested in smartphone apps.
It can be said that the internet has a very big impact on our youngsters’ lives today. We live in a digital world and we want to ensure that our youngsters have equal opportunities in life and that they have access to every resource that they need to get prepared for the future. We want them to be ready humans and not just virtual beings who exist in the virtual world. In order to do this, we need to make sure that they get the right education and that they are equipped with the requisite information, technology and tools that prepare them for a bright future and help them develop their e-mental health.