5 Ways Technology Has Negatively Affected Families


The "Inside" Generation

Don't just send your kids outside to play -- join them from time to time!
Don't just send your kids outside to play -- join them from time to time!

More than ever before, parents have to encourage, coax or even force their children to get outside and play. Kids spend more time inside because of school, homework, working parents and other factors dictating their schedules, but when they have free time, how do they spend it?

Author Richard Louv coined the phrase "nature deficit disorder," describing the younger generation's disconnect with nature. How often do you see kids playing in the woods, building forts or rolling down grassy hills? A University of Michigan 2004 study said kids play outside two hours less a week than two decades ago, choosing instead to spend the extra time watching TV, on the computer, reading or just doing nothing.

Technology isn't exactly great for our health either. In 2004, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said childhood obesity had tripled since 1980 in the U.S.A. One of the most technologically advanced countries also has one of the highest shares of obese people in the world -- not a correlation of which to be proud.

However, parents can manage their kids' "inside" time much like their screen time. Schedule outdoor time, and stick to it. If it's pretty, get them outside. And from time to time, go with them for a bike ride or a walk. Sending your kids outside while you sit inside and text or send e-mails just "sends" the wrong message.

Related Articles


  • American Psychological Association. "Social Networking's Good and Bad Impacts on Kids." August 6, 2011. (Februry 27, 2012). http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2011/08/social-kids.aspx
  • The Barna Group. "How Technology is Influencing Families."May 23, 2011. (Februray 10, 2012). http://www.barna.org/family-kids-articles/488-how-technology-is-influencing-families
  • Bauerlein, Mark. "Why Gen-Y Johnny Can't Read Nonverbal Cues." The Wall Street Journal. September 4, 2009. (Feb. 27, 2012). http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203863204574348493483201758.html
  • Kivi, Rose. "Nature Deficity Disorder." Bright Hub. July 17, 2009. (Feb. 27, 2012). http://www.brighthub.com/environment/science-environmental/articles/10184.aspx
  • Leonard, Bill. "After Generations X and Y Comes Generation I - Internet Generation." HR Magazine. January 2000. (Feb. 14, 2012). http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_1_45/ai_59283651/
  • Mayo Clinic. "Children andTV: Limiting your child's screen time." (Feb. 26, 2012). http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/children-and-tv/MY00522
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  • Oprah Radio. "Children and Technology." January 1, 2008. (Feb. 15, 2012). http://www.oprah.com/relationships/Children-and-Technology
  • Penn State University. "Negative Effects of Technology on Children." March 21, 2010. *Feb. 10, 2012). http://www.personal.psu.edu/djw5068/assignment%205.html
  • Rosen, Larry. Science + Religion Today. (Feb. 26, 2012). http://www.scienceandreligiontoday.com/2011/08/25/why-would-kids-who-spend-more-time-on-facebook-display-more-empathy-online-and-in-real-life/
  • Rowan, Chris. "The Impact of Technology on Child Sensory and Motor Development." (Feb. 13, 2012). http://www.sensoryprocessing.info/CrisRowan.pdf
  • Scelfo, Julie. "The Risks of Parenting while Plugged In." The New York Times. June 9, 2010. (Feb. 10, 2012).
  • Sigman, Aric. "Teletubbies is as bad for your child as a violent video game, says leading psychologist." Daily Mail. September 11, 2010. (Feb. 26, 2012). http://www.scienceandreligiontoday.com/2011/08/25/why-would-kids-who-spend-more-time-on-facebook-display-more-empathy-online-and-in-real-life/
  • Small, Gary. "Is Technology Fracturing your Family?" Psychology Today. June 19, 2009. (Feb. 10, 2012). http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/brain-bootcamp/200906/is-technology-fracturing-your-family
  • Tuttle, Kate. "I love you, now do your homework : )." Boston.com Moms. Sept. 11, 2010. (Feb. 13, 2012). http://www.boston.com/community/moms/articles/2010/09/11/texting_can_distance_teens_from_parents_but_it_can_also_lead_to_better_communication/


Seniors May Be As Hooked to Smartphones As Their Grandkids

Seniors May Be As Hooked to Smartphones As Their Grandkids

What does smartphone addiction look like in an older person? Read this HowStuffWorks article to find out.