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EFFECT OF THE INTERNET ON VALUES AND MORALS OF CHILDREN

  • Category
    Ethics
  • Published
    23rd May, 2022

Introduction: -

In this digital era, and specifically, after the COVID-19 pandemic, technology-the internet in particular- the internet becomes a reality, which cannot be denied. The Internet exposes us to varied ideas and provides us with the means to express our creativity by allowing our potential to engage in a range of experiences, which are otherwise impossible to do in the real world. The benefits of internet use for children and adolescents can also be seen in the domain of healthcare, education, etc.

However, every such revolution comes with its own consequences. And, when it comes to the consequences of the internet, the children are the first, to come to our mind because the children and teenagers are the largest individual internet users, and the internet has a positive or negative impact or influence. The positive impact is that we can get information easily. However, the internet can affect the moral development of children, because of its negative impact of the internet itself. A sense of motivation and self-discipline is well needed to work on the internet, which is the major challenge that children face.

The Effect of the Internet on Children's Morals and Values: -

Positive Effect of the Internet on the Children’s Morals and Values: - 

  • At first, the main goal of the internet is to enlighten insight, and improve skills, as a medium of learning, and obtaining information. 
  • It enhances the area of knowledge of the children, and incentive them to innovate, invent, and create. Moreover, the internet is full of inspirational information, which paves the way for a child to become a civilized, and ethical person. 
  • The circulation, accessing of positive information, and interactions with the positive personalities on the internet imbibe the qualities of empathy, compassion, and moral aptitude. 
  • Interactions with peers, which are very important in developing skills like setting boundaries, learning cooperation, and empathy has become possible during the pandemic situation through the internet. 

Negative Effect of the Internet on the Children’s Morals, and Values: - 

  • The internet also began to be abused, which exposes children to unauthorized, and fraudulent sites.  The increasing of such unethical websites and content that are accessed through the internet by children makes them vulnerable to cyber-bullying, abuses, and security risks, which results in the degradation of moral and value-centric development. 
  • Face-to-face interaction provides the children with a neutral environment for social interactions that aids in building social relationships. However, such face-to-face instances are not possible on the internet. 
  • Sometimes, the readymade information on the internet restricts the scope of critical learning among children, which affects their cognitive development. 
  • The internet detaches the children from the societal reality, which may create societal apathy, indifference, etc. among them, which ultimately results in the diminishing of our moral, and cultural values.  Moreover, the societal detachments negatively impact their decision–making, and leadership skills. 
  • It is also seen that the overdose of the internet can cause a delay in the emotional skills, and generate several other emotional problems. 

What Needs to be Done-?

Balanced Approach: - The positive points of the internet are hard to dismiss; however, it is important to take the necessary Internet safety measures to be able to benefit from the positive effects of technology without facing the negative impacts of technology. The restrictions on internet usage by children should be balanced with their need to access the internet to keep abreast with the latest developments in various fields. 

Role of the Adults: - Any recommendation to guide parents, educators, and health professionals should take into account the needs and rights of children in the context of internet usage. 

Communication is the key: - The communication gap between the children, and the parents, teachers, etc. enhances the gravity of the issue. Raising awareness through communication, and explanation about all the good, and evil characteristics of the internet will reduce the negative emotional impact of technology on children. 

Utilitarian Approach: - It is important to use robust evidence rather than popular beliefs to achieve the maximum benefits of the internet. Accessibility of the internet to the children should be provided as per their cognitive requirements, which is more feasible than that banning the access for them. 

conclusion

It is clear that the internet and the online environment is a moral terrain that requires sustainable navigation. By understanding how effectively such moral disengagement can be avoided, we can help to create a safer and more even path for young people to negotiate.

PRACTICE QUESTION

Q1. “Studies have shown that children are spending more and more time surfing internet resulting in internet addiction.” How does internet affect the over-all attitude of children? What is the role of parents in arresting this addiction?

Q2. “The current expansion of social media has led to increased levels of anxiety around appearance among youth” How do unrealistic beauty standards affect the attitude and behaviour of individuals with their body and mind?

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