Jul 7, 2014

The Debate...Should Kids Have Cell Phones?

The age kids have a cell phone is getting younger.  But should kids have cell phones?  Weigh both sides of the debate. 

THE NO ARGUMENT...

1. Rapid brain growth
Between 0 and 2 years, infant's brains triple in size, and continue in a state of rapid development to 21 years of age.  Early brain development is determined by environmental stimuli, or lack thereof.

Stimulation to a developing brain caused by overexposure to technologies (cell phones, internet, iPads, TV), has been shown to be associated with executive functioning and attention deficit, cognitive delays, impaired learning, increased impulsivity and decreased ability to self-regulate, e.g. tantrums.

2. Delayed Development
Technology use restricts movement, which can result in delayed development.  One in three children now enter school developmentally delayed, negatively impacting literacy and academic achievement.

Use of technology under the age of 12 years is detrimental to child development and learning.

3. Epidemic Obesity
TV and video game use correlates with increased obesity.  Children who are allowed a device in their bedrooms have 30% increased incidence of obesity.

4. Sleep Deprivation
60% of parents do not supervise their child's technology usage, and 75% of children are allowed technology in their bedrooms.  75% of children aged 9 and 10 years are sleep deprived to the extent that their grades are detrimentally impacted.

5. Mental Illness
Technology overuse is implicated as a causal factor in rising rates of child depression, anxiety, attachment disorder, attention deficit, autism, bipolar disorder, psychosis and problematic child behavior.

6. Digital dementia
High speed media content can contribute to attention deficit, as well as decreased concentration and memory, due to the brain pruning neuronal tracks to the frontal cortex.

7. Addictions
As parents attach more and more to technology, they are detaching from their children.  In the absence of parental attachment, detached children can attach to devices, which can result in addiction.  1 in 11 children aged 8-18 years are addicted to technology.

8. Radiation emission
In May of 2011, the World Health Organization classified cell phones (and other wireless devices) as a category 2B risk.

THE YES ARGUMENT...

1. Problem solving.
It gives kids access to resources that help them solve problems.

2. Technology skills.
When people don't have access to technology until their later years, they fall behind.  America is already falling behind in technology skills, making us less employable and harder to train.

3. Expectations in school.
Classrooms of the 21st century engage students in a variety of ways bridging technology and interactive teaching.

4. Interest.
Many children are motivated by technology.  They are future coders.  Future designers.  Future engineers.

5. Brain development.
There is a positive link between technology and brain development

6. Literacy.
Handheld devices can help with learning, especially when parents are involved with the interaction of the device.

Which side of the debate do you fall on?  Share your thoughts with everyone in the comment section below.

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