Children and the Internet Many children nowadays use, or at least have access to the internet. But most people are blinded by all the benefits of the internet, and fail to notice any of the problems that can come from overuse. Since the internet is a new technology, not many studies have been done to determine how beneficial or detrimental it can be to children. Although the internet may have many benefits to children, it can also be very harmful to them. One of the most obvious problems with children using the internet is the chance of getting addicted.

Internet addiction is a serious thing, but hasn t drawn much attention due to the fact that it is a newer problem in society. Children that have grown up using computers will naturally be more susceptible to getting hooked on the internet. Many children spend more time on the computer than they spend watching television. Most of the time children spend on the computer can be attributed to the internet. This computer overuse results in less time for children to study, do homework, read, exercise, or participate in any out of school organizations. Such a pattern will eventually affect the child s grades, health, and social life.

Spending too much time on the internet isn t the only problem that children can encounter. The content which children access on the internet can be harmful as well. There is no regulation of the content on the internet. Children can access information about pornography, racism, anarchy, and more. Many criminals have been noted to regularly use the internet to access harmful information, which can just as easily be viewed by children.

Parents can t tell what information their children have been accessing, and there is no way to censor all vulgar material from their computer. Not only is it difficult to monitor what information children access on the internet, but whom they talk with as well. There are often stories in the news about people getting arrested for trying to meet with underage children whom they met on the internet. Even if a child has good intentions, they can always come across the wrong type of people, while parents are practically helpless.

Possibly one of the things that can be the most detrimental to a child s future is their loss of social interaction. Chatting over the internet can slowly begin to replace the important interaction with friends and family. Many children go straight to their room once the get home from school, and only come out to eat and use the restroom. Eventually the children grow apart from their friends because they would rather chat on the internet than go out on a Friday night. Even though going out on Friday nights may not be the best way for a child to spend their time, face to face interaction with other people is something essential for all children to be comfortable with. If a child loses these social skills because of the internet, it can be very harmful for their future.

How will they expect to make a good impression during a job interview, if they aren t even comfortable socializing with friends? In some cases, children spend so much time on the internet, they don t even communicate with their family. Quality time with family is very important for a child s mental growth, and overall well being. In conclusion, there are many obvious benefits to children using the internet, but one should carefully look at the hazards of children using the internet as well. If parents insist on having a computer with internet access in their homes, they should be aware of the potential dangers that come with it. A good way to help monitor what your child does on the internet is to have the computer in an area of the house where you can observe the child using it. There are many other ways to help keep children safe from the dangers of the internet, and parents should take a little time to learn about them before introducing their children to the new world of the internet.