The increased internet exposure of children has benefited them
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We live in an age where technology and the internet is second nature. We take it for granted and assume that it is always a step forward. But is it really?
The way that the internet has transformed education in particular is particularly notable. Pupils know that instead of learning something, for example capital cities of maths formulae, they will always be able to "Google" it, and I believe that this in fact isn't a step forward as we are being encouraged to be lazy.
There recently have been many discussions about whether Google and other search engines should regulate the content available. Also, here in the UK, David Cameron (our PM) tried to pass a law to ban pornographic sites. Dangerous and graphic websites damage children mentally and expose them to content not suitable for their ages.
In a time when our environment is in crisis, children, and especially adolescents are spending more time sitting in front of a computer clicking away endlessly. If we want our children to improve the conditions and the way protecting our environment is managed, surely we should be making sure that they appreciate nature? I'm not suggesting that it is impossible to engage in both of these activities but if you gave your average 15 year old such as myself the choice between a walk in the countryside and staying in on their laptop, I can guarantee that the majority would choose the latter.
The Internet has indeed transformed education. Before the advent of the Internet, the student would either have to physically attend school or read about the subject in a textbook. Children with stable families and good health benefited greatly from education. Those who could not attend a school, however, were greatly disadvantaged. The current generation has no such disadvantage. Anyone with Internet access can benefit from this ever-expanding plethora of knowledge. A child can turn on a Smart-phone and have access to more information than any college library. No longer is the worlds most precious information held inside the private book collections of academics. The combined knowledge of humanity is now accessible from a pocket-sized computer.
As to the argument of pornographic exposure, this is a very subjective topic. I think that the morality of pornography should be set aside, as this is fit for an entirely different debate. However i will argue that it is up to the parent to restrict exposure to pornography and that this has been an issue long before the existence of the Internet. Though the Internet has made it easier to access pornographic content, it has also made it easier to control it. Parents can easily install censorship software on their children's computers and phones, preventing any exposure to potentially "harmful" content.
Now onto the topic of environmental crisis. I would argue that the Internet has provided more ways to view the earth than ever before. With technology such as Google Earth, we can see Earth in ways people in the past have only dreamed of. Now a child living in a polluted city can see beautiful environments that would be hidden from them. Children living in pristine environments can now know the full extent of the damage done to the ecosystem can see it from any vantage point. The desertification of Africa and China can now be seen via satellite by any Internet user. The Internet has created new ways to enjoy natures beauty, educating otherwise ignorant people of its current degradation.
The Internet has also allowed for a new level of intellectual freedom. People around the world can communicate instantly with anyone connected to the Internet. Ideas are being exchanged in speeds and quantities that would be impossible without the Internet. This has an extremely powerful effect on todays children. Parents can research new and better ways to raise their children. Teachers can now communicate with other teachers all over the world, learning from the mistakes and successes of their peers. Doctors can access new research instantly, possibly saving the lives of many children. Children can now talk to family on the other side of the world, at near instant speeds. No longer will the children of military families lose years of contact with parents and loved ones.
Pornographic material is just one example of unsuitable information readily available to children. There is propaganda (in the sense of misleading information intending to influence views) everywhere. Modelling: encouraging children to become extremely skinny and to don huge amounts of make-up; news websites: portraying the worst of certain cultures, leading to stereotypes among impressionable kids and finally social networking sites: where once again, children can be exposed to radical views and horrifying images/scenes* while their parents think they are just chatting to their friends.
The social media network takes me onto my next point - cyberbullying. It is an increasing problem as parents are often unaware of how easy it is for their child to sign up for sites that have anonymous questions (e.g. Ask.fm) where frankly, anything goes. If you feel like saying that someone is ugly or worthless, you can, and they don't have to know who has told them this.
The internet is also a very addictive habit. One can easily neglect important things such as homework by wasting time scrolling through your "Twitter feed" or alternative. Of course this happens with other hobbies, but it is much harder for parents to regulate when a child has their phone/computer with them when they are meant to be doing homework.
*interesting to note that Facebook, last week announced that it would now allow scenes of beheadings to be shown, and with the minimum age for Facebook being 13, and many under that age using it, I find that quite worrying. But all is okay, Facebook have said they will put put a warning sign on the video so I'm sure these kids will be deterred.....
FractalFeels forfeited this round.
FractalFeels forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by funwiththoughts 2 years ago
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