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Winthrop High School's Premier News Site Since 2019

The Viking Times

Winthrop High School's Premier News Site Since 2019

The Viking Times


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Have Children Become Less Intelligent? The Influence of Technology on Childrens Intelligence

Courtesy of Medium

When I picture my childhood I remember books: staying up until two a.m. absolutely enamored by the stories that danced on the pages in front of me. I feel confident in saying that most other people around my age probably had a similar childhood experience. However, when we think of today’s elementary and middle schoolers, a different image comes to mind. Books and reading are becoming less common, with most parents and kids drifting towards technology instead. This has had a serious impact on most children’s ability to understand the world around them. According to the National Literacy Institute almost 40% of students across the nation “cannot read at a basic level”. 


Anyone on TikTok, instagram reels, or literally any other social media platform will have heard of the infamous “iPad kids”. These are young children (basically toddlers) who are addicted to their iPads, and cannot be away from them without throwing a temper tantrum. Think of a kid holding an iPad that looks sticky, gross, and full of fingerprints and you basically have the complete picture. Other than being somewhat funny to imagine, there is something else to consider when we think of iPad kids. Is this really safe or healthy at all? Giving a kid an iPad and allowing them free range is practically setting them up for failure, with already 48% of Americans saying they feel addicted to their digital devices, according to an internet survey published by Statista. A study published by the National Library of Medicine predicts this problem is only going to get worse as technology becomes more prevalent. Technology addiction inspires kids to use their iPads, or whatever electronic device they might be obsessed with, rather than engaging in a different activity that might be more beneficial, like reading.

image from UVA Today

When a child reads they build so many life skills. They become better communicators, increase their vocabulary, exercise their brains, develop empathy, increase their attention span, develop better language skills, and genuinely so much more. The benefits of reading really can not be understated. Take out this crucial part of development and children lose so many skills they could have had. The statistics prove this, with reading scores for elementary schoolers dropping to the lowest they have been since the 90’s, according to the NAEP. In my opinion, this should be regarded as a crisis. There is nothing wrong with children occasionally using technology, but when it becomes their entire life it should definitely be seen as an issue. I was speaking to one of my teachers only a few days ago and she told me about how she had been out to eat with her friend and in the middle of the restaurant was just a little kid sitting all by themself, head glued to their iPad. These situations are unacceptable, which is why I think technology use for children should be much less common than it currently is, as it would also promote better and healthier habits for kids (like reading!!).


Overall, I think parents should be monitoring their childrens technology usage, and ensuring they are engaging their children in other more beneficial activities, such as reading. I might not be a parent myself, but I think there are many downsides to raising a technology addicted generation, some already observed today. I think that as a society we all must consider if technology is safe for children. Seeing the consequences of it, like decreasing intelligence rates, should definitely serve as an eye-opener for many people, whether they are parents or not.

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