Once accessed by only the privileged, the internet now dominates every aspect of our lives with advanced technological devices. For children, the internet has also become a way of learning new things as well as a subsidiary educational tool, which almost every parent tends to provide for their child.
According to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), children are starting to use computers as young as 8 years old and their first interaction with the internet occurs at the age of 9. Associate Professor Ümit Aydoğan said the internet is a tool that makes our lives easier, but it has negative effects on children, too.
"Excessive internet usage in recent years has led to more people suffering from sleep disorders, depression and antisocial behaviors. Since the internet allows children to access video games as well as TV shows, films and social media, children who would normally socialize at school tend to return to their laptops, tablet computers and smartphones instead of spending time with their peers," Aydoğan said.
He also claimed that scientific research shows that excessive internet usage causes a decline in children's grades and can lead to obesity and antisocial behaviors. "Parents should monitor their children's activities on the internet and guide them to use this technological miracle to their benefit. Smart internet usage is guiding children to use the internet according to their needs in the right place and at the right time," he added.