Children’s Exposure to the Internet

Posted by Trupti Shirole on Mon, Apr 11, 2011  
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Internet has become an indispensable part of our lives. In my opinion internet is like a double edged sword. On one hand it provides significant benefits for children like research access, social networking, entertainment and a communication tool with families, while on the other hand it also exposes them to certain negative aspects like violent online games, pornography, hate sites, isolation, predators and commercialism. May be not intentionally, but many children are likely to get exposed to pornographic content accidentally, in the form of obscene pop-up ads.


But how does one decide whether internet is good or bad for the kids? This depends on how children use the internet. Parents and teachers play an important role in making internet usage a responsible, productive and enjoyable experience for children. When you know that you cannot keep your child away from the internet, the only thing you can do is help them navigate it in a better way. This starts from checking and regulating their internet usage and setting standards for time spent online and the content accessed. You can browse websites together with your children. Make it a point to keep standard security, content and privacy filters and controls on your computer.


Minus parental supervision, internet can have a darker side to it. Early exposure to the internet encourages children to act older than their age. Owing to the smartphones it is becoming increasingly difficult for parents to monitor the use of internet among children. Smartphones give the children easy access to internet. Some experts are of the opinion that precocious puberty i.e. early maturation of sexual and physical characteristics can be attributed to over-exposure of kids to adult stuff at a very early age.


Everything has a good and a bad side to it. It is up to us how we utilize it. If children use internet in an appropriate way then it will surely be of great help for them. However, inappropriate use is always dangerous.


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