Technology addicts at the age of six.

How much time does your child spend on the internet or the game console every day?

This is a question I have been pondering with for many years! I have been watching my children grow up with the internet.  I also have studied students at school and the university who are  totally connected and integrated  to the internet. It has not been until now that I have evaluated how much of this digital lifestyle has/will totally changed the world.

A recent study in the UK has shown that 38 percent of 2-5 year olds own an Android tablet, and 32 percent own an iPad; almost a third (32 percent) of these children  also have a mobile phone.  This study also found that 37 percent of parents said that their child spent between one and two hours a day playing with technology and the internet , and 28 percent said between two and three hours playing with technology and the internet .

In China, the average amount of time of 8-10 year olds spend on the internet every day is eight hours, with children over the age of 10 spend an average of eleven hours every day on the internet.

In the USA, the average time of 8-18 year olds spend on the internet every day is over six hours.

In South Korea, 10 percent of 5-9 year olds spend on the internet every day over ten hours.

This is a world wide problem!

Two million of the youths in South Korea are classified as internet addicts as well as an amazing one hundred and sixty thousand 6 year olds now classified as Internet addicts,  In the USA, 23 percent of the youths are classified as video game addicts with the numbers are rising every day.

South Korea have recognised that they have the highest rate of internet addiction in the world and has decided to set up a network of boot camps across the nation to offer their children a digital detox.

Digital Detox Centres are starting to appear in many countries across the world, designed mainly for adults addiction but the will soon be filled to capacity with children.

There are so many consequences on today’s society with regards to the digital lifestyle. We need to reconsider how we should adapt to this, and we need to reconsider it now.

My questions are around how to be a parent and lead you children in this new addictive digital lifestyle. For example, Professors often make comment that ‘Multitasking is for adults and not for children’ but we can see that the children’s lives are dependent on the ability to multitask.  Another example is how to handle our children when there is no internet connection ,  when the technology fails or the battery is running out. Finally, how do ensure that our children brains and ability to learn will not burn out by the age of fifteen and that they mentally burn out by the age of twenty five?

The answer is that nobody knows, we must learn and adjust at the whilst the new digital lifestyle evolves and takes over our lives.

The children of today will be the adults of tomorrow, it is up to us as parents to secure that our children will have a safe environment to live in so that they do not  just end up as internet junkies!

george e muir

Höganäs N, Sweden

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