A recent survey of children’s utilization of mass media technology, cell phone, computers and television indicates the amount of time allocated to these devices has increased to over 7 hours daily. This does not include time multitasking when children will use more than one device at a time.
Research on behavioral correlates of such behavior is not conclusive, but there are studies that suggest a relationship between obesity, behavioral issues, and even some problems with interpersonal skills and time spent engaged in such pursuits.
The major question is what effect will increased time spent using digital media activity have on the behavior and brains of children over time. Research does indicate a relationship between passive pursuits and dementia later in life. Research also indicates too much stimulation can retard brain development. These represent the critical questions to be explored and answered in the near future. More studies are being done and are needed to determine what the short term and long term effects are on children.
It is important to remain open minded yet critical about both the negative and positive effects of children using and relying on the cell phone and other devices to socialize, interact, and stimulate mentally. The evolution of such technology has already found the youth of the world and they are more reliant and comfortable with it than previous generations. This evolution cannot be stopped and it probably should not. It is important for society to integrate this new way of living in healthy ways.