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Children And The Cyber World – A Blessing Or A curse?

Children and the Cyber World

Children and the Cyber World

I remember when my childhood, I used to watch Tom and Jerry every Sunday. It used to be the biggest highlight of my young life. Later, with the arrival of Cartoon network, my love for the idiot box escalated. I used to make phone calls on the landline to all my friends, and have a great deal of fun. Now, I do all these things and much more on the internet.

In my childhood days, my parents often used to remark how technology has evolved. In their days, the radio was the only source of entertainment. Most middle class families in those days did not even have a television. Slowly, with the increase in technological growth, we progressed. Thus, when I was born, I was accustomed to seeing the television and the telephone in our home. They were objects I grew up with.

The little ones in the next generation are very smart. Like the television for us, they have grown up with computers and cell phones. They know much better than their own parents how to operate blackberry phones and set up video conferencing. They can manipulate the remote of dish TV set ups much quicker than their parents. They use the internet themselves for their school homework and assignments – something our generation did not do until we were quite older. Their school teachers give CDs and data on pen drives to make notes, and to take self-explanatory classes.

And this is not all. They too, have social networking websites. They play games online, and are quite internet savvy. They download the latest music, and videos. Thus, our next generation is a smart, cyber savvy generation who have the whole world’s information at their disposal. This has greatly helped in education. Students can now learn their lessons at school better, by using the internet to read live illustrations of their lessons. This makes their studies come alive, and they take a greater interest. They get trained at a young age, to use search engines in the best possible way. They maintain large networks through social networking sites, and are able to share information through these. Their networking skills are bound to be much better than our own when they reach their twenties.

But there are many perils to this as well. Excessive use of the computer tends to strain young eyes, and thus, we can observe that the number of kids wearing glasses appear to be a lot more than in our generation. Due to excessive obsession with gaming, play stations and so on, children are not going outdoors as often as they should. This is giving rise to increased cases of child obesity in the urban population. It is highly imperative that children spend some time everyday playing outdoors. Not only does it improve their health, also it makes them realise the joys of childhood.

Another major bone of contention is that children are highly curious creatures. Remember the days when we used to bug our parents with questions about babies, and where they come from? We used to get brushed aside with “Shut up, and study” or something to that effect. Children are not as innocent as we think. Their minds are very active, and they pick up every word used by adults. And woe betides us if they run words like “sex” on search engines! Or even worse, on YouTube! They will discover things that their minds are too young to understand, thus creating psychological repercussions.

Due to these reasons, it is appearing that children, due to the cyber world and an over exposure to it, are no longer remaining children for too long. They are becoming just like us. Compare your internet activities with that of your child, and you will realise that almost 70% of it matches exactly. They are not having a childhood anymore – they are becoming adults at a very young age. And with this, they will get all the problems of adult hood as well. Many children these days are victims of back ache problems, migraines, and stiff shoulders.

Thus, while the cyber world has its advantages, too much exposure could lead to under development of young minds. It is our responsibility, as their parents, relatives and siblings to ensure that their net usage is supervised and is restricted to its own levels. You could use the help of your internet service provider to block sites with adult content, and restrict the hours of gaming. Children must also discover other joys in the world – the joys of friendship, reading and innocence that made our own childhoods so very special.

About Anindita Chatterjee

Career and Education: I am currently PGDM 2nd year student (operations) from K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and research, Mumbai. I had a prior work experience of almost 2 years at Verizon Data Services India, Hyderabad, where I served as a server administrator. My work involved troubleshooting all kinds of OS and Hardware problems with Windows 2003 servers. My graduation consists of BE in IT from CBIT, Hyderabad. Social: Born in Mumbai to Bengali parents, raised in Hyderabad, studying now in Mumbai, I am pretty much the PAN Indian. I love making friends and meeting new people, although I wouldn’t really call myself a social butterfly. I love writing, and am a voracious reader – be it fiction or non-fiction. I think that one of the biggest comforts in life is being able to curl up on the couch with a great, exciting new book after a day’s work. I also enjoy all kinds of music, and I am a complete movie buff. I realise that there are grey areas in most issues, but I do call a spade a spade, when it’s glaringly obvious. I believe in God, but I’m not religious. I feel that it’s important to focus on the purpose rather than the medium used to achieve the purpose.

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