Are children smarter or more socialized because of Internet?
Would people refute the fact that technology has brought light to the world? If there is an aspect that people worldwide need to appreciate, then it is technology. The world has undergone great evolution, and this is seen in the scientific discoveries, machinery, modern lifestyle and fashion, development in global infrastructure, and several other modern facilities seen in the world today. The most outstanding technological advancement is the internet. Despite the fact that not every person in the world has access to internet, several individuals with access to it can attest to the fact that life would be close to impossible without internet (Eijnden, et al., 2010). What is internet? Essentially, internet is a global interconnection of computer networks whose major purpose is to link billions of devices worldwide, and this is achieved through the use of the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) (Eijnden, et al., 2010). An extensive range of information is sent from one part of the world to another via internet. Currently, millions of private, public, business, as well as government agencies capitalize on internet to facilitate their operations. The graph below indicates internet users per 100 inhabitants in developed and developing countries.
Figure 1: Internet users per 100 inhabitants
Source: International Telecommunications Union
Undoubtedly, internet has contributed significantly towards the revolution of the world, and it should be noted that this platform was set by the introduction of media platforms such as telephone, radio, television, and computer. In fact, since its inception, internet has become an instant hit. It has gradually become a worldwide broadcasting platform, a recognizable mechanism for information dissemination, as well as becoming a major platform for social interactions and academic research (Eijnden, et al., 2010). Indeed, the phrase ‘the world is a global village’ is owed to the inception of the internet. It is important to appreciate the great minds behind this kind of technology as its benefits are evident. The modern young generation (computer generation) carries out almost every activity through internet. For instance, in most households in both developed and developing countries, it is not strange to find children at the age of five years, with computer knowledge and skills and the ability to access myriads of websites. Social websites such as Facebook, Twitter, and several others have worsened the situation for the young generation. There are a number of positives that have accompanied the use of internet especially among children. They can interact and socialize with one another despite being miles apart. Besides, children have enhanced their academic skills and knowledge, and academic performance of children of the modern generation is far much better than that of children of the ancient generation. Children can also play several games especially football and motor racing via the internet (Van Rooij, et al., 2011). Notwithstanding the cost of accessing internet, children have become updated in terms of the latest movies and music.
The influence of internet among children has raised more questions than answers. Apparently, children have become smarter and more socialized because of the internet, and this is an irrefutable fact.
In the modern generation, the influence of the internet has resulted in children becoming smarter and more socialized. Why and how has this taken place? In the ancient times, when school-going children needed to access academic information or do research on topics issued by their instructors and teachers, they had to pay frequent visits to libraries, archives, and other related places in order to access materials of relevance to their topics of research. At the time, parents and teachers had to push and influence their children to adopt reading cultures by visiting such reading environments. Although the libraries and archives acted as useful sources of information, the lack of updated information and overcrowding were major barriers in such environments. As articulated in the Internet addiction assessment tools: dimensional structure, the rapid evolution of the world saw the inception of the internet, and as a result, modern-day children do not have to undergo suffering in trying to access libraries and archives that are far away from their places of residence. Today, it takes a subscription to online journals and articles or just the access of internet for school-going children to access the literature and information required to boost the completion of their research (Meerkerk et al., 2009). Through internet, preparation as well as access of information and review of literature is a click away. Children only have to type the required topics on their computers and click on the sites they find useful to them. In other words, the access of literature and information for school-going children has been made easier and faster by the introduction of the internet. The thinking capacity and academic abilities of the modern-day children have been greatly boosted by the internet (Meerkerk et al., 2009). The only shortcoming is that not all school-going children across the world can easily have access to internet. In the developing countries, there are a few sections that technologies such as computers are yet to be seen. Without computers, it is impossible to access internet. There have been campaigns for equal distribution of resources across the globe, and it is expected that in the next few years, every child will have access to internet. Apart from the developing countries, there are developing countries where internet censorship is dominant, and this has derailed children’s efforts to access internet. Seemingly, in China, the access to social sites such as Facebook and Twitter is prohibited. This has greatly affected the cognitive development of young children in the country, and thus, the country lags behind in terms of academic performance of school-going children. There is a need to bring this to an end. Through internet, children easily access research and academic material, and this underscores the fact that children are smarter and more socialized because of the internet.
A number of previous studies on the influence of Internet articulate that approximately 99.8% of children and youths utilize either internet technology at home or school. It is added that a large number of children and youths in the modern world are over-dependent on internet (Van Rooij et al., 2011). That is to say, most of their academic, research, communication, interaction, as well as entertainment activities, is done through internet. The biggest concern in the modern world has been why more children and youths are slowly shifting to the utilization of the internet. Arguably, there is a great measure of data that researchers and other intellectuals have availed online, and the data has helped several individuals, especially children to boost their levels of understanding. Why is there an increase in the utilization of internet technology in schools in the world today? The simple access to myriads of websites through the internet has helped teachers, instructors impart great thoughts, and ideas to children that would in one way or another be obscure. The internet has become a major teaching and resource material in various learning institutions (Van Rooij et al., 2011). In fact, most curricula have embraced the use of internet in a bid to boost the ability and capacity of children to think. There are arguments that Internet has significantly contributed to the decrease in the measure of supposing people have to do it. These are but mere misconceptions about the internet. In fact, the misconceptions and stereotypic views of a few individuals have been overshadowed by the fact that the internet enhances the thinking capacity of children. Google is one of the frequently used and accessed search engines in the internet. Through Google, the answers, topics, and literature released make children languid and eager to learn. Moreover, research shows that information from Google makes children more intelligent, just like it makes adults more intelligent (Van Rooij et al., 2011). Thus, this is in support of the fact that modern-day children are becoming smarter and more socialized because of the internet.
People need to appreciate the fact that internet has been beneficial and influential to children. Through utilization of the internet in various platforms and avenues, children have had the unique opportunity of communicating with one another through social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail among others. Undoubtedly, through the social media sites and platforms accessed through the internet, a good number of children have learned more about the world they live in as well as other subjects they are taught in class. How do they get information about the world? According to the article Are children more socialized because of Internet, when children communicate with one another in social sites, they share and exchange ideas of their countries of origin or races. Today, there is serious communication among children from different countries, and it is through the exchange and sharing of information amongst themselves that they get to know, understand, and learn more about the world. Additionally, through using internet, children have acquired new skills and knowledge about new things learned in their schools. The curiosity among children to learn new things about the world and their subjects has also increased, thanks to the introduction of internet technology. The new learning experiences for children are facilitated at the comfort of their homes. These aspects put together imply that children have become smarter, and more socialized because of the internet. Without a doubt, without internet, the mentioned aspects would not have been witnessed, and the smartness and socializing ability of children would be questionable.
Socialization and smartness among children are developed and enhanced in various ways. Essentially, when children come together to engage in games either online or face en face, to some extent, they become more socialized (Kuss, 2013). Besides, participation or engagement of children in games refreshes their minds, and their smartness is boosted. In educational institutions, most curricula have embraced outdoor activities such as games because of the influence and benefits they have on the academic performance of school-going children. It should be noted that the utilization of internet helps students have access to online games. The access to online games is dependent on the various parts and locations around the world where children access the internet. As normal outdoor games and activities, online games that are accessed by children through internet exhibit their essentiality in the manner, they influence the life situations and game preferences of children. According to Internet gaming addiction: current perspectives, through online gaming; children have perfect opportunities and avenues of socializing with one another. Moreover, the online gaming provides opportunities for children to refresh their minds. Thus, their cognitive abilities are boosted. Undoubtedly, through engagement and participation in online gaming, children are offered a variety of social activities. For instance, the online games give children the rare chance of making new friends and chatting with other individuals online (Kuss, 2013). Consequently, online gaming promotes friendships and global unity, and this is owed to the fact that people from diverse backgrounds, races, or countries interact without cultural or religious barriers when engaging in online games. Traits such as teamwork and cooperation are enhanced among children through online gaming. With teamwork and cooperation, the smartness and socializing ability of children cannot be questioned (Kuss, 2013). In essence, this underscores the fact that children are smarter and more socialized because of the internet.
The fact that the internet is readily available and accessible for a good number of children across the world cannot be underestimated. Is true that several people seek emotional solace on the internet when troubled or depressed? Arguably, this is an understatement because, most people especially children and youths have used the internet in their bid to achieve emotional rewards (Eijnden, et al., 2010). The fact that several adolescents often require emotional appreciation and satisfaction from their fellow teenagers is irrefutable. When the friends or colleagues are not within the vicinity, children and adolescents are prompted to seek for their emotional appreciation and satisfaction through online chatting (Eijnden, et al., 2010). In fact, this has been boosted by the inception of Smartphone technology that acts as a portable device that easily access social sites. Consequently, when children and youths get emotional appreciation and satisfaction from their friends online, their self-esteem and self-efficacy are boosted (Eijnden, et al., 2010). Moreover, the emotional reward that children and youth get through online chatting and communication is social acceptance. The latter makes children improve the way they communicate with the people around them. On the other hand, their cognitive abilities; smartness and sharpness are boosted (Eijnden, et al., 2010). Thus, it would be right to argue that children are smart or more socialized because of the internet.
Although creativity, imagination, and innovation are obtained from various platforms, the boost of such traits among children and youth is attributed to the influence of internet (Kuss et al., 2013). Through accessing a wide range of knowledge and skills in the internet, children often come up with creativity exhibited in various sectors including games, story-telling, as well as coming up with artistic designs (Kuss et al., 2013). It should also be noted that the creativity that children develop through accessing various resources and materials on the internet helps in the manipulation and development of their talents. Who does not benefit from talents in the modern world? Footballers and musicians earn a living from their talents. Thus, if children and youths are to manipulate their talents through the internet, then they should be encouraged and motivated (Kuss et al., 2013). Moreover, when children engage in online games, their creativity is boosted, and they end up growing into better, mature, and socially accepted individuals (Kuss et al., 2013). Therefore, people should not ignore the fact that internet allows children to enhance their creativity, imagination, and innovativeness, and with these traits, they end up becoming smarter and more socialized.
Children are smarter and more socialized because of the internet. Children’s and adolescents’ use and access to the internet is irrefutable and indispensable, and this is owed to the internet’s contribution towards their cognitive and social development. As discussed, internet boosts and enhances children’s creativity, imagination, as well as innovativeness. Besides, the cognitive and social development through the internet is owed to the fact that children develop and engage in online games. Additionally, the acquisition of important skills and knowledge through the Internet plays an integral role in boosting the socializing ability of children. The influence of the internet on the smartness and socialization of children can be seen in its ability to allow children to learn cultural beliefs and practices from other communities through online communication and interaction. Most friendships among children and youths in the modern world have been facilitated and boosted by the internet. In fact, social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, as well as Yahoo mail have contributed to the increase in online friendships. The friendships have refreshed children thus, enhancing their smartness and socializing capabilities. It is also notable that the use of the internet has boosted research and other educational purposes. This is attributed to the fact that children do online research on the topics they are given by their instructors and teachers by accessing relevant literature. People need to more towards ensuring that every person, especially children, across the world has access to internet.
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