As smartphones become more and more popular it has become common for parents to hand their phone to their child. Steve Jobs, the developer of Ipads and Iphones, spoke about how he doesn’t let his children use these devices in their home. “ So your kids must love the IPad??” asked Nick Bilton, a New York Times reporter. “ They haven’t used it.” replied Steve Jobs. There has been a lot of research done about the negative effects of children's early use of electronics, and Steve Jobs believes these negative effects are true. During the first few years of a child’s life, their brain develops rapidly, allowing for the most absorption of materials. Introducing smartphones and tablets into a child’s life at a young age can have damaging affects to their overall development and behavior.Creativity in a young child’s mind comes from exposure to various learning outlets such as drawing and coloring. Frequent exposure to smartphones and tablet games limits their ability to be creative and imaginative. As a result, this will slow down motor skills and their optical sensory development. In addition, relationships between parents and a child are going to suffer greatly. Once a parent hands over a smartphone or tablet to their child, the connection between parent and child immediately becomes altered. It abruptly stops the interaction between them, hurting and slowing down the development of communication skills. When parents encourage their child to speak and create conversation, the children develop communication skills that are necessary for overall brain development
Children who are exposed to electronic devices are also speaking much less and this results in a decrease of social skills. By not talking to others, they will have a harder time when they start school to communicate and will feel uncomfortable speaking out loud. As a result, this hurts their ability to learn by diverting their attention and impairing their child’s development of skills needed for math and science.
Addiction becomes another concern, as addiction starts from a young age. Becoming addicted to a device at a young age is going to create an addictive mindset in a child and can continue into their adolescent and adult lives. An addiction to these devices can develop into much greater and more harmful things throughout a child’s life/ When children are exposed to smartphones and tablets, they risk getting less sleep at night. On average, those children who sleep near them get 20.6 fewer minutes of sleep each night. Those minutes add up over time and affect other aspects of a child’s life, causing fatigue and shorter attention span during school because of less sleep. Sleep in young children is important to their development and their health. Not enough sleep is going to hurt them in each aspect of their life.
Lastly, another major harmful effect has to do with their behavior. Behavioral problems can come from exposure to violence in games that parents cannot prevent their children from seeing. Being exposed to such violence teaches children them that this type of behavior is acceptable. Exposure to a large amount of violence makes it difficult for parents to instill in children the idea that bad behavior and fighting is unacceptable.