Technology in childhood: advantages and disadvantages


A few days ago World Children’s Day was celebrated and, after having analyzed the impact of social networks on minors, with their pros and cons, we are going to explore how technology in general can affect children.

As with many other issues, the positive or negative side of the relationship between technology and children is conditioned by the level of presence that responsible adults can have to avoid (or at least minimize) possible negative impacts.

As some experts explain, today’s children are no different from those of previous eras, they simply use tools that were not available to their parents’ generations.

Therefore, it is especially important for adults to accompany them in order to take advantage of the benefits that technology can bring to children and reduce the chances of falling into risky activities.

Advantages of technology in childhood

As well as the advantages offered by social networks for minors, the pros of technology in general can also be framed mainly in the educational field.

Let’s take a look at some of these advantages:

  • Approach to technology. Thinking about the future of minors, an approach to the world of technology while they are still children (and we insist, as we will see later, always with the accompaniment of adults to avoid possible risks) can help them in their professional development depending on which path they decide to take.
  • Help with learning problems. In the case of children who have some kind of difficulty of different types, technology can be a support when it comes to developing the skills in which they encounter more obstacles.
  • Encouraging creativity. Properly focused, technological tools can be a great stimulus for the imagination and exploration capacity of children by inviting them to develop their skills with the impulse to new ideas and a wide range of types of projects, from the most artistic to the most technical.
  • Increased social interaction. Although it may seem paradoxical, if misdirected it can also be a disadvantage, as we will analyze in the following section. However, the possibilities of social interaction offered by technology can help in the development of social skills or to enlarge the circle of friends, with the value this has for those children who find it more difficult to interact with their peers in the non-virtual world.
  • Fostering independence. As with the previous advantages, we have to start from the premise that this fostering of independence will only come with responsible and controlled use. But the truth is that technology can help children to explore and learn independently the different applications and devices according to their different ages.

Problems of technology with children

Some of the risks that children face when dealing with technology can be avoided with an appropriate and balanced use.

Just in case, let’s remember the main problems they may encounter:

  • Inappropriate use. Lack of supervision can lead to excessive use of the devices, which can also have a series of negative repercussions on other aspects of life, such as changes in sleep routines, sedentary life or loss of contact with family or previous friends. In extreme cases, this can lead to poor school performance or even depression.
  • Abuse and harassment. Something that can also happen through social networks, and is the negative impact that insults or cyberbullying can have on mental health.
  • Online gambling. Certain addictive components that can occur in certain online games can lead to health problems or even problems of coexistence, with the risk of addiction that this can generate additionally.
  • Risky behaviors. Overexposing the image or maintaining contact with strangers can trigger risky situations that lead to pressure or blackmail.
  • Inappropriate content. Being able to consume content intended for older ages (or higher levels of maturity) can be a catalyst for inappropriate behavior, in which violent behavior is normalized or even incited.
  • Low level of parental supervision. All of the above risks may be conditioned by a low level of adult supervision, which leads to inappropriate use with the consequent increased exposure to dangers, in addition to the lack of control to minimize intensive or unhealthy use.
  • Social isolation. Although it may seem paradoxical to be connected with other people, in the non-virtual plane it can lead to loss (or non-acquisition) of social and communication skills.
  • Decrease in mental agility. The abuse of technological tools can lead to the loss of the ability to calculate by having at hand tools that simplify this mental process.


An adequate level of accompaniment by adults can certainly help to reduce exposure to the dangers that inappropriate use of technology can entail. However, other elements (such as the educational system, other well-informed minors in their environment, the institutions themselves and even the technology industry) must also play a relevant role in protecting children in this area.

For this reason, some experts advocate setting a reasonable time limit for daily use without imposing or consenting, but clearly marking the limits of what can and cannot be done.

Likewise, it is important for the family environment to promote other leisure possibilities (such as sports, reading, painting, music, etc.) to minimize the abuse and intensive use of devices, without falling into the stigmatization of technology.


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