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Pros and Cons of Internet for Children
The internet exposes children to new ideas and information. However, they might see or hear inappropriate knowledge or even misleading ideas that could harm their learning and development.
Too much screen time can be harmful
In addition, too much internet usage can directly affect brain development. This happens because each hour of internet usage means less time for physical activities and real playtime. This limits the variety of experiences children will have.
Internet media and games also provide unhealthy stimulation that rewires the brain to always look for something new, entertaining or surprising. In other words, children (and adults) can become more easily bored and distracted when they face a task that requires some focus. For children, this makes it hard for them to learn a new concept or solve a problem during their playtime. They might easily give up or look for something new around them (instead of focusing and completing a certain task first).
If children find it hard to focus, they will find it hard to learn new concepts and perhaps enjoy playtime. Because they get easily bored, they might quickly switch from one task or toy to the next and miss out on the learning experience. As a result, children might not achieve their developmental milestones on time and get left behind by other children in terms of cognitive progress.
Also note that too much internet use can make children physically inactive. Instead of walking or running around (and using their bones and exercising their muscles), they would be sitting down and remaining steady. As a result, this can also harm their physical development and they will have fewer offline experiences.
Internet use also disrupts sleep. It can make children sleep late or for fewer hours. This can affect their brain development as well as their mental alertness for the next day. They won’t be able to make the most out of their learning experiences each day if this happens too often.
Some screen time still helps (limit it to around 1 hour for children). However, too much internet use can take time away from other learning activities and experiences. In the children’s early years, it’s important for them to gain rich offline experiences.