Technology can do a world of good – yet it can also hurt the spiritual walk of children and adolescents today.
Children and teens today are growing up in a technology-saturated world. From iPads and smartphones to computers and TV screens, there’s no denying technology has become a huge — and unavoidable — part of culture.
In 1970, children began watching TV regularly at about 4 years of age, whereas today, children begin interacting with digital media as young as 4 months of age, research shows. Additional statistics show that children between the ages of two and 18 spend an average of almost five-and-a-half hours a day at home watching television, playing video games, surfing the Web or using some other form of media.
And it’s not going away anytime soon. The percentage of teens who had smartphones jumped from 37 percent in 2012 to 73 percent in 2015 to 89 percent at the end of 2016, according to data from the Pew Research Center and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Overall, 50 percent of all teens said they felt addicted to their phones , according to a report by CommonSense Media.
With 24/7 access to the internet and unlimited connectivity to peers, teen culture looks vastly different than it did a decade ago. Extensive research shows that media affects children’s cognitive, emotional and social development — and by extension, their faith and spiritual growth.
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