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Infographic: How Digital Media Affects Children

Remember when you were a kid — before Facebook, Twitter, high-speed Internet, smartphones, and online video? Times are different now and digital media is cultivating a new generation of kids.

You’ve seen it —  the 2-years-olds who are master photographers with their parents’ smartphone cameras and the 6-year-olds who can already type faster than most developers.

Kids these days have bedrooms jam-backed with TVs, video game consoles, and computers — they’re spending less time outside exercising and more time hanging out on the couch playing Call of Duty.  But is multimedia all bad? And how does it affect children?

The following infographic from Now Sourcing explores two important sides of this question. Is media bad or good for kids? Well, yes and no.

Is Media Making Kids Stagnate?

For good reason, 73% of parents like to limit their kids’ TV time, and 66% talk to their kids about the dangers of social media sites. Surprisingly, only a small proportion of respondents actively monitor their kids’ social presences and privacy settings — despite concerns.

Then there’s the perspective that media harms intelligence — 42% of Americans agree that in 2020, young technology users will have major cognitive problems including an inability to focus, lack of long-term foresight, and limited critical thinking ability.

Ouch.

Is Media Making Kids Smarter? 

In the classrooms, teachers perceive media and technology as invaluable teaching tools. Only a small proportion of respondents — 26% — feel that incorporating tablets in the classroom would be a distraction to learning. The rest? Well, they think tablets are just what the classroom needs.

Where teachers agree with parents is in the areas of attention span — without checks and balances, online media can really hurt a kid’s ability to focus.

As with all great things in life (junk food, play dates, and study-time), what kids need most is balance. Too much, too little — there is a fine line. To say that digital media’s kids are going to grow into lackluster adults, however? That may be a stretch.

Hats off to today’s brilliant, media-savvy kids who will inevitable pioneer tomorrow’s technology.

How Digital Media Affects Kids

Image by Tom Wang
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