Written by 1:00 am Mental Health Views: 7

Why Generation Z Must Set Limits On Their Technology Use

The world is changing quicker and quicker. Technology has become a norm, which impacts human development. How’s that affecting our children?

Children’s technology use is surging. A 2020 Pew Research Center survey found that 94% of children aged 3 to 18 have access to a smartphone, and 88% of them use tablets.

Why do you think that is?

For you people who were born in the early 2000s or before, you must have questions. Here’s what I think.

Firstly, technology has become universal around the world. Screens are integrated into our daily lives, making it natural for children to be exposed to them. It’s become a norm.

Secondly, technology offers unlimited engaging content, from educational apps to interactive games. This can be highly stimulating for young minds, fostering a desire for continued use. Social media also plays a role, with platforms designed to be addictive and keep users coming back for more. These factors combine to create a perfect storm, propelling children towards ever-increasing technology use.

Social media platforms and digital devices have become a necessary parts of modern childhood, shaping how children interact, communicate, and form relationships. While these technologies offer connectivity and convenience, they also introduce new challenges and stressors, including:

i) Social Comparison 

Constant exposure to curated images and lifestyles on social media fosters unrealistic standards and feelings of inadequacy among children, leading to self-esteem issues and anxiety.

ii) Cyberbullying 

Online harassment and cyberbullying are prevalent concerns in today’s day, contributing to feelings of isolation, fear, and depression among young people.

iii) Attention Span

Excessive screen time and digital distractions can impair attention span, cognitive development, and emotional regulation, exacerbating symptoms of anxiety and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

iv) Attachment Theory & Emotional Development

Attachment theory posits that early childhood experiences shape patterns of attachment and influence emotional development throughout life.

Secure attachment, characterized by consistent caregiving and emotional responsiveness, fosters resilience and healthy interpersonal relationships.

However, disruptions in attachment due to factors such as parental neglect, trauma, or excessive screen time can contribute to:

  • Avoidant Personality Traits – Children who experience insecure attachment may develop avoidant coping mechanisms and difficulty forming close relationships, predisposing them to avoidant personality disorder (APD) in adulthood.
  • Anxiety & Depression – Insecure attachment styles, created by fear of rejection and emotional unavailability, are associated with increased risk of anxiety disorders and depression later in life.

What Can We Do Better?

So, to mitigate the negative impact of childhood rewiring on mental health, it’s essential to address underlying factors and promote healthy coping strategies:

i) Parental Involvement

ii) Digital Literacy (Educate children about responsible technology use)

iii) Emotional Regulation (Teach children emotional intelligence skills)

So, with all that said, what actions will you take?

Online technology and new advancements such as AI will continue to shape our world, whether we like it or not. It’s important to be active as parents, so that the next generation of children will be emotionally intelligent and responsible.

If you have any questions or comments, let me know below!