Last updated on March 19th, 2020 at 11:53 am
Children using technology is becoming a great concern, and there’s a massive debate across the world on what effect technology is having on children of all ages. At Planet Camping, we think it’s having a largely negative impact on children, from both first handed experience and research. We think the negatives of technology are far greater than the benefits, and we want to get more children outdoors – to get back what they’re losing from the use of technology before it becomes too late.
Technology of course has its few benefits, but we’re not discussing them.
First of all, we’d like to ask which of these images looks better to you…
Or this one…
We’ll leave that up to you, after you’ve read this post.
Social Skills and Isolation
The use of various technology devices – mobile phones being the main culprits – are stopping our children from learning basic social skills. All children want to do nowadays, is go on their mobiles or gaming devices, even when it comes down to sitting at the table for dinner.
How many times have you been out for dinner, and seen children (including your own!) staring at their mobile phones at the table? We can answer it for you – very often.
When kids use technology, they’re being pulled out of reality, and into isolation. Whether it be on social media or video games, they’re usually not teaching kids any form of social skills, and any skills that the kids do have – could easily be lost as they get consumed by their screens.
By being consumed by screens, children are missing out on what happens around them, which reduces their chances of basic social interactions with real people.
Do you remember the thrill of cycling to your friends houses and playing outdoors for hours? That’s something your child won’t experience if they have too much of their time on devices.
This is one of our main concerns when it comes to children and technology. As they click and play away for hours, how are they being kept safe?
There are usually no restrictions to the internet on their devices, meaning it’s easy for children to come into contact with the wrong sort of people, or be exposed to mature content.
If a child has any form of social media, especially Instagram, Twitter and more recently; TikTok, there are very few filters stopping them from seeing content that is past their age.
On social media, content promoting certain kinds of looks and behaviour are very common – which can cause adults great stress, anxiety and even peer pressure to “fit in”, so imagine how it’s affecting young children.
There are also some links with children’s brain development and the use of technology.
As mentioned above, social media which can be accessed through pretty much any technology device – is affecting adults, let alone the children who have access to it.
On popular social media apps, there’ll always be content which children shouldn’t be seeing, and it can be accessed incredibly easily, and most often – by mistake.
With many celebrities online advertising products such as ‘diet pills’ and the amount of photoshop used to create a fake ideal of what people should look like and how they should act, it’s no wonder that children also start to struggle with their self esteem after being allowed on social media.
The world of social media also brings children into a place that discusses topics such as substance abuse, and peer pressure to this – making them want to do or try things that they shouldn’t be.
Less Physical Activity
This one is obvious…
Children sat indoors on their devices means that they’re not being active in any way at all. Some children sit on their Xbox or Playstation for hours on end without a break, and this shouldn’t be happening when there is so many other things they could be doing! Children lose track of time on their devices, which is a very poor way of teaching them time management skills for when they’ll need it.
Children, especially under the age of 10, should be outdoors playing – this increases their imagination in the real world, rather than drawing them into a fake reality which simply blocks out the actual world they’re in.
Versus the Outdoors
Its pretty obvious, that as a camping and outdoor company – we favour being outside over using technology all the time. But really, we know the facts – and we know how much more beneficial it is to children, for them to be outside in the real world.
We don’t think we have to go much into why children shouldn’t be indoors, gaming for hours…
If children are outside playing, they are encouraged to get physical exercise and fresh air, which is great for their physical health and also their mental health – there are many psychological benefits of being outdoors, children gain better concentration skills and are also seen to be more attentive after playing in a natural setting.
Learning Social Skills
By being outside, children learn social skills and how to live and act in the real world – and not the fake world they are in when they play games or scroll through social media.
If the kids are in a park for example, they will physically meet new children and learn skills like making new friends, teamwork and how to be expressive socially.
They’ll also see things happening around them, they’ll see different kinds of people doing different things, giving them a more open perspective on life, rather than the closed lifestyle offered by things like celebrity culture.
The Great Outdoors can teach children respect with the correct guidance. We all know how important looking after the planet is – and children who are brought up with this mindset will always have it.
Teaching children to look after the wildlife and outdoor areas that they play in, is a great way to start giving them the respectful mindset so that they care for the planet, rather than vandalise it.
Basic activities like litter picking do a great job at this, as well as taking children to farms, or on hikes to show them just how great being outdoors is!
Overall, we think that the benefits of being outdoors are far greater than any benefits that technology have to offer. We think limiting the use of technology in children is certainly something to consider if you haven’t done so already, as so many of them are becoming consumed by the devices they have without us realising.