New technologies in young people: Digital Natives.
New technologies have a significant presence in our lives today, to the point that in developed countries it is hard to imagine what life would be like without them.
It is therefore no surprise that today's new generations have grown up closer to technology than previous generations, so the fact that young people are making use of these technological advances at an increasingly younger age should not come as a surprise.
The myriad of technological programmes and applications that we are confronted with on a daily basis affect not only adults, but also children.
For the first time in history, a new generation is much more familiar with the environment than their parents; this is why there is a need for them to learn, as they feel they lack training when it comes to new technologies.
For children, this close contact with technological innovations can be advantageous in some respects, as it is expected that the new generations will be highly skilled in this area in the future.
However, new technologies affect children psychologically, socially and academically. Sometimes they are even the main cause of family conflicts due to the isolation and addiction that they can cause for children today. But not everything is inconvenient, it all depends largely on how children use social networks(Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram...), Whatsapp, YouTube, Internet, mobile phones, tablets, video games, etc. Because it is true that they can distance or isolate, but they also unite us and are still tools with undeniable benefits and so established in everyday life that the important thing is not to deny them, but to know how to use them appropriately.
For this use to be appropriate, the role of parents is very important when it comes to intervening in the event that excessive use of technology poses a problem for their children.
WHEN TO BE CONCERNED?
A parent should start to worry about the abuse of technological tools by minors when they are used for everything and everywhere; at school, at home and even in situations where they should not be (such as at family mealtimes). That is the first warning sign. Abuse.
There is therefore the so-called addiction to technology, the Internet, mobile phones and video games (immediate gratification, dopamine...). Consequences of these addictions are not knowing how to manage time; needing more and more of the use of these technologies; or even withdrawal syndrome, becoming anxious, aggressive or depressive if access is denied.
Here are some statistics on the subject that may be of interest to you:
Nomophobia, although used as a synonym for "mobile addiction", actually involves an irrational fear of leaving home without our phone. The term is an abbreviation of "No-mobile-phone phobia" or "fear of being without a mobile".
96% of Spaniards have a mobile phone (many more than in large countries such as the United States, China or France); among them, more than 26% even have two mobiles and a small but curious percentage of 2% of the population has up to 3 mobiles.
in total, according to 2016 data, smartphones are the most used devices to access the Internet with 93.9% of use, tablets stand out with 59% and televisions have reached 26.1%.
Teenagers, of course, are the most likely to suffer from this mobile addiction. We must all be aware of the hyper-connected society in which we currently live, dominated by social networks, where we are constantly receiving notifications from one application or another. A society where constantly checking messages is a daily occurrence. The concern increases, even more so, taking into account that in 2015 up to 98% of teenagers aged between 10 and 14 already owned a latest generation mobile with an Internet connection.
USE, ABUSE AND ADDICTION:
There begin to be signs of inappropriate use when the increase in use produces a serious interference in daily life and the child or adolescent loses interest in other activities, to fully immerse themselves in the New Technologies to the detriment of any other activity. As a consequence, conflicts with parents and denial by the adolescent of the existence of a problem begin, while lies and manipulations may appear in order to devote more time to the computer, console or mobile phone.
Young people no longer use new technologies to have a good time but to alleviate the discomfort of not using them, and many admit that they do so to escape from reality.
is there anything more beautiful than reality when you are a child?
In the end, as with any addiction, there is a withdrawal syndrome that leads to profound emotional discomfort (dysphoric mood, insomnia, irritability, psychomotor restlessness, etc.), which is why the family environment is so important, because the family has the potential to prevent any problem. The role of parents, although it must be combined with that of educational centres and other institutions, is fundamental.
Today's minors are the so-called digital natives, as new technologies have been present in their lives since they were born. They have grown up with this reality, and therefore the Internet is a tool that they use in a natural and agile way. Access to the Internet is occurring at increasingly younger ages and with greater frequency.
The rise of social networks has had a profound impact on children, in fact some of the most popular ones are designed specifically for them and currently have millions of registered users. We have already talked about Instagram and Snapchat, favourites of the youngest.
The Internet and social networks, like any tool, especially when their potential is so extraordinary, depends on how it is used, whether it becomes something positive or something pernicious and harmful.
cyberbullying or bullying on the Internet often originates, on numerous occasions, in social networks.
Offensive comments in forums, threatening messages, theft of passwords, the appearance on the networks of compromising images of the person being bullied, the creation of false profiles with the victim's details, the spreading of false rumours about the bullied, among other things.
Teenagers do not always appreciate the damage they can cause to a friend or colleague, and they hide behind the false anonymity offered by the Internet and the apparent lack of rules. For this reason, it is very important to make them see that on the Internet, as in real life, they must take into account some basic rules of respect for other users.
INTERNET SAFETY OFFICE:
As many adults may be frightened by the digital divide, being at their children's computer level, our recommendation is that they get to know the OSI, or Internet Security Office, which provides the necessary information and support to avoid and resolve security problems that may exist when surfing the Internet.
The OSI helps to reinforce confidence in the digital sphere through training in cybersecurity, a portal where you can find tools to help you and your family surf more safely, with a special section dedicated to minors.
They also have a call centre (901 111 121) where they deal with queries and security problems.
- Surf the Internet with your children, guiding them on the most reliable pages, and teaching them to surf with a clear objective, without providing personal data.
- Select the video games that your children play according to the PEGI standards that regulate age (3 to 18) and content (foul language, sex, violence...). Don't forget to play with your children from time to time.
- Make very clear rules defining when, how much and where mobile devices are used.
- They can make use of parental control programmes on computers, mobiles and consoles.
- Educate them on how to manage their time and how to value other forms of leisure and free time.
- Set an example: Very important!
- Try to keep up to date to avoid the digital divide.