Necessity is the mother of invention and the biggest invention of this era is the internet. It has brought the entire world to one small screen. Through it, you can interact with any person sitting in the far corner of the world with just a single click.
It has impacted each and every person in one or the other manner. However, the influence of the internet on kids is somewhat deeper than the grownups. The usage of the internet has both positive as well as negative effects on the kids.
However, if you wish to understand the ethical dilemma that the internet forces on children, then you can go through our article Does the use of the Internet by Children and Teenagers pose Ethical Dilemma for them.
10 Positive Influences of the Internet on the Kids
The internet is a huge taskmaster for the kids of today, with its own boons and banes. It has a lot of advantages and is beneficial for young kids in many ways. In fact, it has actually emerged out as a blessing in this era of digital transformation and helped the kids study and continue with their education in the comfort of their homes.
Let us study about the ten positive impacts of the internet on the children of today.
1. Helpful Source of Interaction
Through its various applications available for instant chats and emails, the internet has come up to be a very helpful source of interaction among young kids and adults as well.
Using emails you can send any document or information in a split second to a person sitting in the other part of the world.
2. Boost to Education and Learning
The internet has given a huge boost to the field of education and learning. It has been able to do that with the huge plethora of information and knowledge related to the different subjects available on it.
The internet has been a huge help to the children and taken their education and learning to a new level.
3. Online Libraries
The internet has come up to be a saviour for those kids who want to do some extra learning. It has brought the school to their homes. Now, they do not have to go to the libraries or markets to buy or borrow books.
They can get whatever they want from the comfort of their homes. This has helped the children immensely and made things quite convenient for them.
4. Saves Time
Due to its immensely fast speed, the internet is able to save a lot of children’s time. They are able to quickly find things that are relevant to their learning and understanding and are no longer dependent on the others.
If they want to send notes or take anything from their friends, then it can happen in split seconds, instead of the time that was initially wasted in going to homes.
5. Online Transactions
One of the biggest blessings of the internet is the usage of online transactions, which are done in the various fields of life. Some places where online transactions are very useful are online banking and online shopping.
Online shopping for kids, which they can do with their parents or any elder, saves their time and makes their life safe and easy. It also prevents them from leaving home unnecessarily.
6. Relaxation and Cheerfulness
Young teenagers also use the internet for their entertainment and relaxation. They do so by playing different kinds of online games. These games are not just for fun but also quite informative too.
They increase the children’s creativeness and originality and vision. Such children tend to be quite confident and optimistic and know what to think and say at the right time and place.
7. Increase Hand-Eye Coordination
The regular use of the internet increases hand-eye coordination among the kids. This happens when the kids regularly use their hands on the keyboard and mouse and their eyes on the screen.
Both these body organs seem to work together in complete sync and tandem. This coordination also influences their speed of typing on the screen, while looking at the keyboard or vice versa.
8. Increase in Visual Knowledge
The regular use of the internet also increases the visual knowledge of the kids. This happens as the children tend to remember those things for a longer duration than they have seen from their own eyes as compared to the ones that they are verbally told about.
So, the internet is very useful in such cases. It is like a vast ocean of information on any subject and you can just click and show relevant pictures or videos to the kids.
9. Making Friends
The internet also acts as a bond between friends and helps young children keep in touch with their friends. It particularly plays the role of a mediocre between friends when they are not able to meet each other.
Through the internet and various online apps, they can see them, talk to them and even celebrate their birthdays with them.
10. Big Help for Differently-able Children
The internet has come to be of a great help for children with special needs. It has a lot of useful technological advances that would make the life of these kids very easy and comfortable.
Parents of such children are immensely grateful to the internet and its various online advances that has made their as well as their children’s life quite easy and comfortable. It has made such children quite independent and self-reliant.
So, we can see that the internet is immensely useful for young kinds. It has brought these kids a great level of comfort and come out as a source of learning and an ocean of never-ending information and knowledge.
9 Negative Influence of the Internet on the Kids
But each coin has two sides to it. We just read about the pros of the internet but there are few cons to it, as well. So, now, let us study about the negative impact of the internet on the minds of young kids.
1. Ethical Dilemma
Sometimes the child, while using the internet, falls into the trap of ethical dilemmas. Through various online websites and apps, they get to know about certain things that they know is right for them but it lures them.
So, they fall prey to the vicious circle of should or should not. They do not want to do the inappropriate things but feel compelled to do so. In such a case, they are unable to find the right from the wrong. In order to more clearly understand the problem of ethical dilemma, go through our article, Does the use of the Internet by Children and Teenagers pose Ethical Dilemma.
2. Watch or See Things that aren’t Age Appropriate
On the internet, children end up watching or seeing things that are not right for them. Such things are completely inappropriate for their age. They end up spoiling their young and impressionable minds.
Watching negative things tend to have an adverse effect on young minds and can also leave them scarred or scared of things for life. They, at times, also become averse to certain things and are forever unable to overcome their phobias.
3. Addiction to Social Networking
The latest problem or negative effect that has come up due to the regular and non-stop use of the internet is the addiction to social networking. More and more young kids are becoming addicted to social media and is always available online.
They seem to be unable to stop their addiction and it tends to have an adverse effect on not just their physical health but also on their mind and heart. Also, due to their addiction, their moods tend to dwindle.
4. Enthusiast to Social Approval
Children, due to their incessant addiction to social networking, have become prone to getting social approvals. They have become completely dependent on the likes or support that they get online.
If such a thing does not happen or on the contrary they get criticized or trolled then it hurts them mentally. They get upset and many of them even have started to go into depression, as well. This is one of the biggest negative effects of the internet on the minds of young kids.
The internet is a world full of unknown people. Some such people, sometimes, take advantage of the young kids and tend to hack into their parents’ systems by using their ignorance and then try to harm them in various ways.
It is one of the major disadvantages of the internet and its online services.
6. Cyber Bullying
Another negative influence of the internet on the minds of young kids is cyber bullying. It is one of the most depressing or saddening effects of the internet on small children. It is basically a form of bullying or harassment that happens online.
It can lead to various types of mental, physical, and physiological misery. Constant bullying puts a child into a steady state of nervousness, panic, sadness, and low self-respect.
7. Fall Prey to Bad People
The internet is a world of unknown people. You never know whom you are talking to. So, children in their innocence fall prey to the wrong kind of people. They get coaxed into by people’s false sweet talks and end up doing what they ask them to.
So, kids should be taught to be wary while talking even with known people, when they are online.
8. Cyber Theft
At times, criminals take the help of naive kids to do cyber theft. They use young kids to gain information about their parents or family by sweet talking to them. In ignorance, the kids divulge important information about their family, address, parents’ income, and at times even finances.
This then helps the criminals in committing different kinds of online thefts, like identity thefts or bank frauds. They, at times, even steal passwords and try to enter wrong details and steal people’s personal information and misuse it, and in the process try to bring harm to the kids and their families.
9. Online Games
Children, nowadays, tend to fall into the trap of online games and steal money from their parents. They take their parent’s cards, without their permission and use it to play games online. This is a very habit and often acts as a trigger of domino effect in them.
If they do one wrong thing, then they start to do one bad thing after the other, without realising the consequences of their actions. They get so involved in these things that they forget to stop and think about what is right and what is not.
Does the Internet Enhance or Ruin Creativity in Kids?
We just read about how the internet affects young kids so extremely. It has two sides to itself based on its usage. If used properly under the guidance of an elder, it can prove to be very constructive. But if a child falls in the wrong ways while using it, then it can be quite damaging for him.
However, the internet does not ruin the creativity of the kids. It gives them a chance to enlarge their scope of creativeness by giving them easy access to a lot of information and also assists them in multitasking. It helps them do many tasks at the same time.
Like, while listening to music, they are able to do their homework as well get extra information on any topic they want. So, it is like having two sweets in hand and one in mouth, which basically translates to getting the very best out of the situation.
How to Teach Your Child to Use the Internet Properly and Effectively?
The internet can be a very effective support for a child’s education if he is taught to use it well. However, parents have a major role to play in that. They need to be the ones to guide, support and teach the child about how to use the internet properly and efficiently.
Let us see five ways in which parents can teach their children to use the internet properly and effectively.
- Assist your child whenever he wants to access a new website and help him find the right one related to his subject of interest.
- Block the websites that might have an adverse impact on your child’s psyche, if he visits them even by mistake.
- Keep a regular and constant tab on the amount of time that your child is spending online. Also, keep a tab on the sites he visits and the ads that the sites have.
- Try to be around your child whenever he goes online so that you can avoid any unwanted situation before it arises.
- Be aware of all the games that your child is playing online or downloading from the internet. Ensure that they do not have any wrong elements in them.
So, we can see that the internet’s influence on kids is greatly related to how they are groomed or mentored by the parents or teacher regarding its usage. Parents should teach the child rules for using the internet safely, like not giving anyone their personal information or using bad language, or interacting with strangers.
If they do so and follow all the rules set by the parents or teachers then the impact of the internet on the children will be a positive one and it will act as great support for them. It will also help them enhance their creativity and help them bring out their best.