OPINION: Are kids too obsessed with electronics?


With technology continuously and rapidly improving, it seems we have no time to catch up on the latest version of a phone before the next version comes out. And each new generation of phones ushers in a new, younger generation of users.

Technology has certainly opened doors for us and our generation, but it seems that it has closed just as many doors it has opened. With kids getting their first cell phone earlier and earlier each year and opting to play games on their iPad instead of playing outside, technology has changed how kids today grow up. The problem runs deeper than just not playing outside, however.

Using technology for an extended period of time could result in a lack of socializing, according to a Dec. 2, 2013 Telegraph article, titled, “How young is too young for technology?” This could affect a child’s behavior and hinder his or her ability to interact socially as an adult.

The slang used to send text messages on cell phones is already affecting how kids write at a young age. The use of slang is primarily seen in high school students, but is being seen more and more in college admissions essays, according to the June 13, 2011 U.S. News and World Report Education article, “How Slang Affects Students in the Classroom.” Admission officers have been known to throw away applications after reading only a few sentences using slang.

Some could argue that the increased use of technology in the classroom has been a good thing for students. It has helped those who need extra help learn at their own pace, and it allows students to learn in ways that best suit them, but where do we draw the line when it comes to learning with technology in the classroom?

“I think the line is drawn when we substitute a machine for person,” Nancy King, instructor of hospitality management and dietetics at K-State, said. “You have to keep it balanced. It’s drawn when you are using it to keep them busy rather than to educate them.”

The problem is that kids are starting to use technology when they are too young. They are using their cellphones as their primary use of communication and losing the critical ability to speak to people face-to-face. Does this mean parents are the root of the problem?

“Absolutely,” King said. “They are providing the electronics. They aren’t setting any boundaries for when it’s appropriate and not in social and business situations.”

As adults, most of us remember spending our childhood playing with friends outdoors and using our imaginations. Kids today spend hours inside watching TV and playing video games. Technology is not going to stop improving, and we can’t expect kids to stop using it. Simply knowing how to balance the usage of cellphones and computers on a daily basis could make all the difference for kids when it comes to making sure they don’t become too dependent on technology.

Kelly Soto is a senior in hospitality management.