What Impact Does Entertainment Technology Have on Child Behavior?

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INTRODUCTION It is widely believed by many that the ever-increasing proliferation of technology within entertainment has had detrimental effects on those children exposed to them, with many youngsters forgoing the more traditional pursuits in favour of digital interaction with online acquaintances or artificial intelligence. Entertainment now contains a wide variety of technologies including television (standard or interactive), music, computers, games consoles, toys and the internet, to name but a few. The aim of this study is to identify whether these technologies have an impact on the behaviour of children in either a negative or positive aspect. Many experts within the child development field accord to the view that long periods…show more content…
This has been met, however, with a corresponding rise in non-educational and other, marketing-orientated, programmes. This greater range has led to many fears over children spending too much time in front of the television and not engaging in other, more physical activities. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Whilst it can be argued that technology has enhanced many aspects of our lives, it cannot replace real life completely. Sue Palmer, in her seminal work on child development, described how, as a result of over-protective parenting or due to very real safety concerns, traditional play has been replaced by an over-reliance on technology; a “screen-based lifestyle” and she argues that: “without sufficient opportunities to work off excess energy, any child...will be frustrated and fractious.” (2007, p53) This view is supported by Webster-Stratton who described television as “rendering children passive” and referred to research indicating that excessive exposure to television and computers “place children at risk for harmful effects on their physical, social and psychological development”. As a way of mitigating this, she suggests watching television or computer games with the child in order to address any issues that might arise or to identify inappropriate content (2006, p234-236).
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