10 guidelines for the proper use of new technologies

The use of new technologies, although a relatively new phenomenon, is increasing in our current society. For children and young people, these technologies are no longer unknown, but they are tools that they know since they are born, because for a 2-year-old child, a pencil of colors, a story book like a video game or a mobile phone is as new.

According to experts, at 2 years 40% of children already easily "trastea" the Smartphone or the tablet to play, watch cartoons, etc. To the 8 years, 72% already use new technologies and from the 10-15 years are used by 80%.

Natives and digital immigrants

Children and adolescents form a group of people called Digital Natives (Prensky, 2001), a term that defines those people who have always been present in their development New Technologies (NT) and Internet. In contrast, for current adults who have known a reality prior to the technological revolution, the same author labeled them as Digital immigrants, which means a new generation gap and that sometimes, due to ignorance, we are afraid that our children will not correctly use all the potentialities of the NT.

If we consider that the family is the first learning environment for children because from birth to adolescence observe, imitate and repeat the actions that parents do, what we do with the use of technology will also determine their vision and use.

If our attitude is prohibitive and negative, they may think that new technologies are useless and harmful tools and if our use is not responsible, we will not help them to know how to use them correctly as they grow and mature. Parents from early childhood have to accompany and educate in the use and control of technology.

Decalogue of good practices for the use of digital technologies

These guidelines are:

1. Technological devices must be appropriate to the child's level of development and their learning needs.

2. The possible risks and rules of use will be discussed and negotiated with them.

3. The technologies will be placed in common spaces and when they are small it is recommended that their use be shared with adults.

4. The connection time (there is no recipe), it will be shared with the NO connection.

5. You have to teach them how to relate to other people in social networks as they would like them to treat them.

6. Not all the information on the Internet is reliable. You have to teach them to be critical.

7. Try to keep up with the technological evolution, to facilitate learning for our children.

8. Being us an example of responsible use of the internet.

9. Be alert for any symptoms of possible addiction.

10. Be consistent with reasonable use of what we do with technology and with the behaviors that we demand of our children.

Recommendations to prevent problems with new technologies

- Provide leisure alternatives and free time that is fun and outdoors like sports, better in team and other group activities.

- Encourage the relationship with other children.

- Promote other hobbies such as cinema, reading, other cultural activities, etc.

- Establish good family communication.

- Reinforce your self-esteem, that is realistic and positive.

Mercedes Corbella. Psychologist and diploma in Social Work

It may interest you:

- Digital natives, a different generation of children

- Children and new technologies: how to take advantage of their learning potential

- The first mobile phone for children: teach them how to use it

- Smartphone, how to educate for responsible use

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