How Technology Lowers Emotional Intelligence In Kids

There has been series of studies to uncover how to technology lowers emotional intelligence in kids. Even adults sometimes struggle to regulate their screen time and indulge in other activities. For children, there have been multiple studies pointing to the adverse effect of technology on their growing emotional intelligence, citing an over dependence on gadgets and a reduced tolerance to things they find frustrating.

Many parents see the benefit of raising their kids to be tech savvy and this is a wonderful thing. However, their exposure to tech must be balanced so they can turn out to be well-rounded individuals.


How Technology Lowers Emotional Intelligence In Kids

In this article, we would look at how technology lowers emotional intelligence in kids, how technology affects kids emotionally, the negative effects on children, and how to manage the situation.

How Does Technology Affect Kids Emotionally?

These days, it is almost impossible for children to not grow up with technology. There are plenty of programs made for them ranging from finance to STEM, money education and more. So now, kids have smartphones, tablets, video games and sometimes, access to social media platforms.

Technology comes with benefits but not without downsides. Let’s look at how some technology activities impact children’s well-being.

1. Screen Time and Sleep Patterns

Spending a lot of time on screen is now a very common problem and sometimes, even parents are stuck in the habit. It’s not uncommon to catch sight of a family having dinner while everyone’s eyes are glued to their gadgets.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that screen time be limited for children to ensure healthy development. Prolonged and uninterrupted exposure to screen especially during the evenings and early part of the night can disrupt sleep patterns, affect their moods, and emotional regulation.

Sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality can make children more irritable and anxious while also affecting their ability to concentrate.

Also Read: Basic Technology Activities for Kids


2. Social Media and Self-Esteem

Many experts discourage parents from allowing their children access to social media from such a young age. Social media plays a transformative role, often negative, in how children interact and perceive themselves.

A constant exposure to different online personalities can make them have unrealistic standards for themselves and even lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.

There is the pressure to conform to online standards of beauty and success which can make them judge themselves harshly and could even lead to depression.

Before such exposure, children should have a bit of experience developing healthy relationships before doing so on social media. Also, the importance of real-world connections and self-acceptance should be explained to them.

3. Cyberbullying and Emotional Distress

When you grant your children access to technology, cyberbullying is one of the things you may have to worry about. There are plenty of trolls on the internet these days who are experts at leaving hurtful messages, championing exclusion, and harassing others which can have serious emotional consequences on children.

This can lead to anxiety and depression and even a decline in academic performance. It is important for parents to guide their children on how to use the internet responsibly and how to deal with this kind of inappropriate behaviour.

4. Video Games and Emotional Regulation

Video games offer entertainment and can be educational too. However, excessive gaming or exposure to violent content can have negative impacts on a child’s well-being and their ability to regulate their emotions.

There are studies that have pointed to possible links between violent video games and increased aggression as well as desensitization to violence. It also has the potential to promote antisocial behaviour. Parents have the responsibility of vetting video games before children use them while encouraging balanced use that leaves room for leisure.

5. Educational Apps and Cognitive Development

Even with technology apps that are focused on education and cognitive development, moderation is key as they can still impact children negatively. An over dependence on screen based learning can eat into the time available for social interactions and physical activities. This has the potential to affect the child’s emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills. The way to get the best out of educational screen time is to balance it with other non-screen experiences.

6. Parental Involvement and Digital Literacy

When parents are fully involved, it’s easier to manage the effects of technology on a child’s emotional well-being. Parents can do their part by establishing clear guidelines on screen time and teaching children responsible use of gadgets. They can also model healthy technology use.


What Are The Negative Effects Of Technology On Children?

The positives of technology are not without negatives and they have varied impact on children’s physical, mental, and social well-being. Let’s look at some of the common negative effects of technology on children.

  • Development of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Overuse of technology can lead to the development of a sedentary lifestyle. Excessive screen time leaves little time for physical activity which can lead to certain health issues like obesity, poor posture, and weakened muscles. The World Health Organization recommends limiting screen time for children in a way that they can still engage in physical activities.

  • Impact on Sleep Patterns

Using electronic devices especially before bedtime can affect a child’s sleep patterns. Screens have blue lights that interfere with melatonin production, the hormone in charge of regulating sleep. When children are sleep deprived, they can have behavioural issues like difficulty concentrating which can affect their academics negatively.

  • Cognitive Development Concerns

Excessive screen time has also shown to affect cognitive development in children. Long term exposure to fast paced visually stimulating content can reduce children’s attention spans and interfere with their ability to concentrate on tasks that require focus like academic work. The often passive state needed for content consumption can affect their ability to fine tune their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

  • Social Isolation and Impaired Social Skills

One of the driving motivations of technology is to connect people around the globe but it also paradoxically leads to social isolation in children.

When children spend too much time on screens, it eventually replaces face to face interactions leading to a lack of development of social skills. This can make children struggle with communication and empathy as well as an inability to interpret non-verbal cues.

  • Cyberbullying

Children are exposed to all sorts of behaviours when they interact with others online. There are plenty of breeding grounds for harassment and bullying from social media platforms to online gaming platforms. Children should be taught the right ways of navigating these spaces to save themselves from emotional distress and long-term psychological consequences.

  • Development of Unhealthy Habits

The use of technology can create room for the development of certain unhealthy habits like compulsive screen use especially for entertainment purposes. This dependence on digital devices can affect their lifestyle and academics as well as physical and mental health.

  • Exposure To Inappropriate Content

Though there are efforts being put in place to ensure content is filtered according to age, many children still encounter inappropriate content online. This can be violent graphics, sexual content or even misleading information that can negatively affect their mental health and perception of the world.

  • Academic Performance Challenges

Technology helps to enhance learning but a misuse can affect children’s academic performances. An excessive use of electronic devices for non-educational purposes can limit the time they get to spend on their educational materials.

  • Technological Addiction and Withdrawal Issues

It is not impossible to become addicted to technology. This can make it hard for children to let go of their gadgets even during sleep times. This kind of addiction can affect other parts of their lives and even their academics.

  • Privacy

Children in their naivety often do not fully understand the need for privacy in this digital age. They may end up sharing information that can make them vulnerable to predators online or open them up to other malicious activities. Teaching children the importance of maintaining their privacy online can help prevent these kinds off situations.

Also Read: Best ADHD Apps for Kids


How Technology Lowers Emotional Intelligence In Kids

The decision to expose children to technology is often well-intentioned but a growing body of evidence now makes us aware that it has a downside. The goal may be to raise children who are tech attuned and ready to conquer the fast growing tech-focused world but concern should also be given to possible harms.

A major factor attributed to reduced emotional intelligence with exposure to technology is the decrease in face-to-face interactions and engagement with the real world. Building emotional intelligence requires practical learning to understand people and carefully interpret their non-verbal cues like facial expressions and body language.

Also, technology makes instant communication possible and in this culture of instant messaging, it’s very easy to lose that sense of consideration regarding the things we express. This can stand in the way of empathy and emotional regulation which are very important fragments of emotional intelligence. Children learn to correctly navigate social situations and understand the perspectives of others when they interact. It’s also how they learn to express themselves effectively.

Digital content can also be very engaging and consuming. Video games and even social media platforms make clear communication a little difficult as it exaggerates emotions, presenting a distorted form of what we really feel. These artificial emotional experiences cannot suffice for real life experiences that help children recognize and respond to authentic emotions.

Technology can also be additive so children will need limits on their screen time otherwise they become addicted to these gadgets. There are plenty of non-screen activities they can indulge in like reading books or taking part in team sports. These activities can help foster emotional intelligence as they will learn to be patient, resilient, and cooperate with team members.

Conclusion: How Technology Lowers Emotional Intelligence In Kids

Technology is very beneficial no doubt and can set your children years ahead in whatever career paths they chose in the future. There are different technology activities and technology projects that are education based that you can pick from. While doing this, create schedules that they can stick to and also make plans for traditional activities and real life interactions to balance things out and ensure they do not become emotionally unintelligent.