The first time I threw up the morning after a wild night of hard partying and countless shots of tequila, I learned a valuable lesson: too much of anything is bad. That lesson I learned while conversing with the toilet is something that certainly applies to all other aspects in life.
When it comes to kids spending their time online, too much is definitely too bad. Whether they’re checking out their friend’s status on Facebook or exchanging Tweets with another tween, going online more than usual does more harm than good.
Playing online games for long stretches distorts their perception of reality. When a kid plays Grand Theft Auto, for instance, he might get the impression that stealing cars is acceptable. Most online games are peppered with too much violence, that the player’s subconscious inevitably picks up on this. Eventually, the aggression carries over into real life. Role-playing games empowers kids who play them. The lines between reality and fantasy become blurred.
Social networking sites are another type of forbidden fruit for kids in the online realm. In October 2012, news spread around the globe about a fifteen year old girl posting a YouTube video about being bullied. She later committed suicide. The bullying she suffered was not only offline but also online. Other kids maligned her on Facebook, and it simply devastated her.
Spending too much time online hampers a kid’s physical development. Instead of going outside and playing hopscotch or a quick game of basketball, some kids prefer getting their fingers calloused from all those online games. 🙁 A normal part of a kid’s development should include playing outdoors and getting his or her heart rate up. But with too much time online, hardly a drop of sweat trickles down his temples.
As parents, it’s our unwritten obligation to limit the time our kids spend online. We should be aware of the warning signs that our kids have had enough time online. As always, it’s best to lead by example. That’s one thing I want to “LIKE” 🙂 .