Technology is quickly becoming one of the most utilized resources used by man today. It is not only advancing at an exponential rate, but is also being personified throughout numerous domains across our society. The world we live in today is radically different than the world wenty years ago. That being said, investigating and analyzing the way technology currently affects human development is an area of study that would be of great value. Specifically, we believe concluding implications are the key to gaining an understanding of the present and future development of humans. Through an evolutionary-developmental lens, we will discuss how technology has shown to impact the way infants and young children interact (i.e. socially, and cognitively). Likewise, the same framework will be used to discuss the way technology impacts the development of adolescents and young adults. Finally, the current literature will also address the technological influence on the social and cognitive development of older adults.
The advancement in technology has a developmental impact on infants and young children. Specifically, the impacts of technology can be seen in the social, cognitive, and evolutionary-developmental perspectives. The amount of exposure that infants and young children have to technology has been increasing exponentially over the years. Data reveals that children under 24 months of age have limited access to technological devices due to their limited motor functioning (CITE). Children do not have sufficient haptic ability, and have deficient control over their physiological movement. Despite this, children between the ages of 3 and 5 start to gain motor development, affording the opportunity to interact with the digital world (CITE). 20-30 years ago technology that is seen today was non-existent, and therefore the exploration of the digital world is significant as it will greatly influence ontogenetic development in the future.
Technology has opened up a world of opportunity, and has shaped the way we interact with the environment. Specifically, the integration of the digital world has steadily made its way into the lives of infants and young children. Nowadays, we are seeing children equipped with iPads and cell phones rather than action figures and storybooks. A youtube video that was presented during our presentation displayed an infant interacting with a mobile tablet. Even though the child had not yet developed proficiency in language, he was still able to socially engage with the (juvenilized) character in a way that simulated a real-life social interaction.
As technology continues to advance, it is evident that parents have started interacting with their children differently than before. Parents are starting to use technology as a crutch, which is unfortunate due to the evidence that the stimuli from these devices, have harmful effects. Nevertheless, one of the true setbacks lies in the diminishing bond between the digitally-engaged...