Nowadays, many parents in Hong Kong buy digital products to their young children. Some may even buy more than one product to them. They think that their children can use them for learning, playing and communicating. The products and functions inside are useful, interesting and their children like them. Plus, they can take a rest when their children use the product on their own. However, these digital products could hinder the development of children, especially their brains and eyesight.
The most popular digital product among Hong Kong families is iPad from Apple. They are well-designed and parents can download various applications for their children. Some apps are designed for teaching children, like play the piano, write English letters (like ABC), and sing songs with body movements. These are obviously interesting and attract children to learn and to think. Moreover, there are lots of games for them to play, like the Angry Bird and Fruit Ninja, which are easy to play and just need to move your fingers. Children would find them interesting and play them all the time. As a result, their eyes may get hurt.
There is an increasing number of children having short sightedness. Since they always play with the products with a huge amount of light behind the LCD screens, this would deeply affect their eyesight. This is dangerous for children in young age having short sightedness. They will need to wear glasses from then on. Many parents are not clear about the consequences of playing with this kind of digital products all the time, they may let them continue to play, so that the situation will continue to get worse.
These digital products can also affect the brains of young children. If they have prolonged exposure to rapid image change will result in a preconditioned mind which expect high levels of stimulation, they are more likely to have attentional problem in later life. Since they adapt to fast changing in their mind, they will started to be not ably to pay attention easily and continuously. This would deeply affect their academic result in the future since they cannot study well.
Let me share my experience. My cousin, Cindy, is at the age of 3. She always plays with iPad at home and in restaurant. She knows how to open an application, play games with little techniques, and use the apps to learn. She really learns a lot from them, but we all afraid that she will rely on digital technology very much and don’t know how to use the traditional products, like books instead of e-books. We will need to make extra efforts to let her learn the traditional things. Many children and parents in the world are experiencing this too. Here is a video clip showing that children nowadays have the ability to control and play with iPad very well.
Besides those popular products, there are lots of interesting digital products that give less harm to children. They still can enjoy a lot of funs, some may even teach children too. For example, animated speech teachers can teach children to understand the difference between positive and negative terms. They are products without a screen but have awesome functions. Everyone with spare money should have a try to any of the products.
In my opinion, digital technology really gives a lot of convenience to us. They let all of us play and learn in funny way. I also enjoy using the applications. There are lots of choices in the app store, and most importantly, they are free of charge. We can download it easily and enjoy the functions provided. However, it really gives us some disadvantages. We can continue to use them but should not use them all the time or even get addicted to them. Not only the children, we, as adults can also get hurt to our eyes and other parts of the body. We should protect our own bodies, and do more exercises. Also, we should talk and play more with people to enjoy the real life.
狂玩 iPad兒童變近視 放一個長假 視力1.0降至0.5 (http://hk.apple.nextmedia.com/international/art/20120307/16132580)
Is Technology Changing Your Brain? : KQED Education | KQED Public Media for Northern CA (http://blogs.kqed.org/education/2013/04/23/is-technology-changing-your-brain/)
20 Examples of Digital Products for Kids – From Cuddly Plush Stereos to Vibrating Writing Tools (TOPLIST) (http://www.trendhunter.com/slideshow/digital-products-for-kids)
Screenshot from Angry Bird:
Screenshot from Fruit Ninja: