Does Technology Keep Kids From Going Outside?

by omill2 on April 14, 2014 - 12:55pm

I did some research on technology and kids, and the amount of time spent outside. According to the article Children’s Time Outdoors, by L. Larson and others (2011), states that kids today are spending a lot less time outdoors. The main cause of this is the rise of technology. A study was done and about 57% of parents claim that the reason their children don’t go outside is because they are using some type of electronic, such as video games, watching TV, or listening to music (Larson 2011). Another study showed that kids from ages 8 to 18 spent an average of over seven hours on an electronic device (Larson, 2011). The study done in this article was to the general population and did random telephone calls to more than 120,000 homes in the United States (Larson, 2011). Questions asked to the parents were how long your child or children outside, what are the activities they do when outside and what are the reasons for them not going outside (Larson, 2011). In the article, Larson (2011) stated the results, which more kids would spend more time outdoors on the weekends rather than the weekdays and boys would be outside more than girls. Larson stated (2011) that most children would spend at least 2-3 hours outside daily and only about 5% reported that their children had no time spent outside. So there are still many children that do go outside daily, but the numbers have decreased over the years.
I have noticed a big difference of kids being outside when I was a child, which was not that long ago, to the amount of kids today being outside. When I drive through my neighborhood I just don’t see that many kids playing outside as there should be. When I was a kid, I was outside any chance I got, no matter what kind of weather, rain, shine or snow. Technology has grown so fast and has become so advanced, it’s a big part of our lives now a days, but it shouldn’t keep kids or anyone from going outside to enjoy some fresh air playing sports or just hanging with friends. Growing up with all boys in my neighborhood, all we did was play sports outside; sometime we would even play baseball past midnight in our homemade baseball field in the backyard. Some kids are so glued to electronics, playing video games or on the internet; it can even have an effect on them later in life, such as social skills and health. The research done in this article proves that less and less children are spending time outdoors throughout the years and the main cause of this is because the increase of electronic media for entertainment.

Larson, L., Green, G., Cordell, H. (2011). Children’s time outdoors: results and implications of the national kid’s survey. Journal of park and recreation, 29(2), 1-20

Comments

I agree that technology is playing a big part in why children are no longer able to have fun going outside and having fun without the use of technology. I think that a big problem is that everyone blames the kids for being obsessed with there phones when the generations who are creating these technology should also be at blame. As sad as it is that kids are technology obsessed it is our society that is telling them its okay because they are constantly creating new inventions that everyone wants, especially kids.

I agree with this article that technology is a huge reason why time spent outside has decreased in children. I believe that technology is taking over and people are more worried about their phones rather than anything else going on. I also think that some parents nowadays use technology as a"babysitter". When they can't control their child, they just give them their phone to play a game or to keep them occupied. I noticed this one day when I was out to dinner at a restaurant and there was a table with a few kids at it and they were all playing games on iPhones and iPads. Technology is taking over kids lives. Instead of playing around outside, kids are glued to the TV or their phones. When I was little, I played outside every day that I could, for as long as my parents would let me. Technology is a huge part of our society now and has both positive and negative effects on everyone. I think it's sad that kids aren't going outside and playing all the fun outside games but instead stuck inside playing games on their phones or computers.

The title of this post really drew me in because the issue of rising technology affecting kid’s behavior is definitely an ongoing issue. I myself have faced the challenge of trying to pull kids away from screens and engage them in some other activities, but as technology gets cooler and cooler in the eyes of these kids, the harder it is to remove their glued eyes from the screen. From the perspective of an adult in this situation, yes, it is easy to sit kids down with something that will easily hold their attention in order to get a little time off from watching their every move. This, however, does not in any regards mean it’s the right thing to do. As technology continues to exponentially advance, it’s pretty impractical to say that we should keep kids away from technology all together. Instead, parents, babysitters, older siblings and others need to find appropriate ways to monitor kid’s time with technology and encourage them to go outside and play in a way that doesn’t make playing outside seem like a drag. I know from my own experience with my niece, it’s been helpful to have specific non-negotiable time slots for her to play on her tablet, and once the time is up my family and I will all go outside together to show her how enjoyable time outside can be. Kids need to realize that watching some pictures on a screen isn’t the only way to enjoy yourself, and parents need to hold substantial responsibility for making sure “screen-time” doesn’t get out of hand. When kids get too comfortable with no constraints on their technology, it’s hard to get them to do pretty much anything; especially if it involves going outdoors where the cord doesn’t stretch or where the wifi loses connection. I really liked what you had to say about seeing less kids out in the neighborhood playing these days as well, it’s definitely a trend I’ve noticed in my hometown as well. I remember when I was younger all the kids in my neighborhood would ride our bikes together around the neighborhood until it got dark and our parents made us come in. Now, it’s just something I don’t really see anymore. One thing I would have liked to see developed more in this article are some possible implications of the study. I liked how you mentioned that technology might have an affect on social skills and health, but seeing these ideas developed further would make for an even stronger post. Overall, this was a great post that I’m sure everyone can relate to in some regards.

I thought that this article on the relationship between technology and kids going outside to be very interesting, especially since technology is becoming so advanced that everyone can’t live without them. We all rely on technology to help us through work, school, and even for social interaction, so much that it became so much a part of everyone’s daily activity. I really believe that technology is consuming kids’ lives and decreasing their outside daily activities especially since I can closely relate to this issue. There are many family members that I have that allow technology to consume their every free moment of their life. When I was younger I was only allowed to play online for no more than two hours a day but as I got older and more technological advances in games and phone, I would be online playing every free moment that I had to the point where I barley did any outside activities. Know that I am in college I have learned that there are more important things in my life that texting and being online every chance that I can get but I still have many family members that still allow it to consume their life. My brother barley comes out of his room, he is always online watching videos and playing games with friends and even when dinner comes around he is search the web on his tablet while eating dinner. I also have very young cousins between the ages of 4-9 that already have tablets, lab tops and phones that I think that it is becoming ok for them to be playing games all day instead of being outside and meeting new people. I remember when I was their age and I would be outside with my family, biking, walking the dogs, sledding, swimming building memories that I would never forgot and I can’t image kids these days growing up knowing that all they did was play video games or search the web. Knowing some of my experiences and thought if find that I can really agree how technology is keeping kids from enjoying the outdoors. Some parents allow their kids to have technology at too early of an age and I think that if kids didn't have such advanced technology that they would be outdoors having much more fun. I agree with your statement that technology is causing a decrease in outside activity and that technology has grown so fast that it is becoming part of our lives. Although technology is going to continue to evolve we shouldn't let it take over good quality time with the outdoor. You made a great article choice in articles on an issue that may become more prominent in the future. One thing I would like to see is the parent’s role in their children’s time usage of today’s technology and outdoor activities.

I thought that this article on the relationship between technology and kids going outside to be very interesting, especially since technology is becoming so advanced that everyone can’t live without them. We all rely on technology to help us through work, school, and even for social interaction, so much that it became so much a part of everyone’s daily activity. I really believe that technology is consuming kids’ lives and decreasing their outside daily activities especially since I can closely relate to this issue. There are many family members that I have that allow technology to consume their every free moment of their life. When I was younger I was only allowed to play online for no more than two hours a day but as I got older and more technological advances in games and phone, I would be online playing every free moment that I had to the point where I barley did any outside activities. Know that I am in college I have learned that there are more important things in my life that texting and being online every chance that I can get but I still have many family members that still allow it to consume their life. My brother barley comes out of his room, he is always online watching videos and playing games with friends and even when dinner comes around he is search the web on his tablet while eating dinner. I also have very young cousins between the ages of 4-9 that already have tablets, lab tops and phones that I think that it is becoming ok for them to be playing games all day instead of being outside and meeting new people. I remember when I was their age and I would be outside with my family, biking, walking the dogs, sledding, swimming building memories that I would never forgot and I can’t image kids these days growing up knowing that all they did was play video games or search the web. Knowing some of my experiences and thought if find that I can really agree how technology is keeping kids from enjoying the outdoors. Some parents allow their kids to have technology at too early of an age and I think that if kids didn't have such advanced technology that they would be outdoors having much more fun. I agree with your statement that technology is causing a decrease in outside activity and that technology has grown so fast that it is becoming part of our lives. Although technology is going to continue to evolve we shouldn't let it take over good quality time with the outdoor. You made a great article choice in articles on an issue that may become more prominent in the future. One thing I would like to see is the parent’s role in their children’s time usage of today’s technology and outdoor activities.

I think you are totally right the electronic media is taking much of the time that was once used to play outside. It is also true that those media are much more easily accessible today than they were a few years ago.
I don’t think the problems apply only to children. I myself, often, if not always, cut my sleep time because I am browsing the internet and reading interesting articles. However, I don’t think it creates problems in social skills, though I agree it might have an effect on health because of a lack of physical exercise. In fact, I think having access to an online community is a great advantage for developing social skills.
I think I myself am a great example of this feat. I am not a person who will bond nor will want to bond with friends easily. Most of my personal interests aren’t shared by many people and the friends I made growing didn’t share them either. Having access to an online community which breaks the limits of geographical distance has allowed me to meet a lot of people who share common interest with me. The amount of social expression and fun that results in those discussions are much more appreciated than those I used to have with local friends before.
The internet allows a lot of people to break the distance barrier and hang out with friends much more often than it would be possible without it. Briefly, I think the social possibilities offered by the internet are much larger than those that are possible by simply going out. These online communities are growing each day and there are now even online currencies, for example the Bitcoin, which are available and contribute to a global worldwide social interaction.

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