Digital technology has had a massive impact on the world in recent years, helping to change the way people live their daily lives.
Its influence has undoubtedly also transformed the way children develop, giving them access to a wealth of possibilities that many older generations could only dream of experiencing.
However, debates about digital tech continue to rumble on, with some people seeing it as a platform for unlimited opportunity while others remain suspicious of its potential to negatively impact our entire way of life.
Read on as we take a closer look at digital tech in the 21st century and how it is changing the way children develop.
Creating a social culture
From social networking to online gaming platforms like Gambino, digital tech has completely changed the way children are educated and spend their spare time.
Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat have opened the door for kids to be much more connected than previous generations.
According to Unicef, youth (ages 15–24) is the most connected age group worldwide, with nearly three-quarters of that group online compared to around half of the population as a whole.
Genres such as eSports and social gaming help to build friendships through common interests and create a social culture that youngsters across the world are embracing.
It is also the case that easier access to digital tech is allowing kids to become increasingly savvy with the medium at a far earlier age.
Inevitably this brings certain challenges, but what cannot be denied is that the development of youngsters is being digitally powered.
The darker side
Digital connectivity has made it much easier to contact children through their online gaming or social media profiles.
This potentially opens the door for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of opportunities to engage in negative interactions with kids.
The recent mass shootings in the US brought online gaming into the spotlight, with President Donald Trump blaming “the glorification of violence” in video games for the killings.
Trump claimed that it is “too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence”, although he stopped short of mentioning that easy access to guns in the US is a contributory factor.
While it is fair to fair to say that many people still lack a thorough understanding of the power of digital tech, it remains a force for good if it is used correctly.
Educating tomorrow’s adults
Unicef discovered that the majority of participants in their research study believed that digital tech was a vital component in ensuring positive development amongst children.
Access to computers for learning was seen as crucial, helping kids develop key skills that they could take into adulthood with them.
From basic tasks such as typing through to building websites and more, learning digital tech skills creates the foundations for kids to be able to move seamlessly into work when they leave full-time education.
Many leading organizations are helping to empower kids to become more connected by developing safe online communities where they can learn and interact with like-minded individuals at the same time.
STEM Works Activities, Science Buddies and NOVA are amongst the popular websites that promote positive digital tech use and kelp kids gather key online skills.
Let’s embrace digital tech
If used in the right way, digital tech has the power to radically transform the way children develop during their formative years.
If parents and educators harness the medium correctly, they can help to ensure that kids are afforded opportunities that many people who have gone before them simply didn’t have.
Digital tech is unquestionably the most significant development to hit the world in recent times and is helping to drive a new generation of socially connected people.
By embracing digital tech in a positive manner, society is helping to create a culture where kids can develop key skills that will stay with them for life.