In recent years, children, like adults, have become increasingly exposed to computers. While some child psychologists have claimed that this is a good thing, others have claimed that it has an overwhelmingly detrimental impact on children. In this essay, I shall draw upon a number of studies in cognitive science and industrial psychology that reveal the positive and negative aspects of this phenomenon.
To begin with, there are clearly reasons why computers do not allow children to develop long attention spans. This is because computers are packed with many supposedly child-friendly games that require minimal levels of concentration in order to be enjoyed. For example, a study by the New York Child Learning Association found that children who read from picture books were 50% less likely to get distracted than children who played educational computer games. Therefore computers almost certainly have a negative impact on young children.
However, since the world has become heavily reliant on computers, there are also clearly advantages to exposing children to computers. This is because children with such exposure will stand a better chance of finding employment. For example, after being interviewed by Yale psychologists, over 70% of young office workers admitted that they had spent long hours on computers in their middle and late childhood years. Therefore it is clear that computer exposure can be beneficial to children.
In conclusion, there are advantages and disadvantages to early computer exposure. However, if, in the future, the quality of educational gaming is increased, there is good reason to believe that these negative consequences will fall entirely away.