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How the iPad, phone is affecting your child’s growth

By Winnie Onyando February 26th, 2024 3 min read

In a world where screens dominate our daily lives, the upbringing of Generation Alpha, fondly dubbed the “iPad Kids,” presents a unique and pressing challenge for parents and caregivers alike.

Born into a digital era saturated with technology, these children navigate a landscape vastly different from that of previous generations.

As they grow up immersed in a virtual realm of endless information and entertainment, concerns about the potential risks and dangers of excessive screen time, cyberbullying, and digital dependency loom large.

Below are some dangers associated with raising Generation Alpha, also known as the “iPad Kids”:

Excessive screen time

Generation Alpha is growing up in an environment where screens are ubiquitous, from smartphones and tablets to computers and smart TVs.

Excessive screen time can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, which increases the risk of obesity, cardiovascular problems, and other health issues.

Prolonged screen exposure also strains the eyes and can contribute to headaches and vision problems.

Developmental delays

The early years of childhood are crucial for cognitive, emotional, and physical development.

Excessive screen time during this period can impede the development of fine motor skills, language acquisition, and social-emotional intelligence.

For example, young children may miss out on important opportunities for hands-on exploration and sensory experiences if they are constantly engrossed in digital devices.

Addiction to technology

The instant gratification provided by digital devices, along with the dopamine release associated with screen-based activities, can lead to addictive behaviors in children.

They may exhibit signs of withdrawal or agitation when separated from their devices, and their screen time may escalate to the detriment of other activities such as outdoor play, socializing, and schoolwork.


Generation Alpha is increasingly connected through social media platforms and online communities.

While these platforms offer opportunities for socialization and communication, they also expose children to the risks of cyberbullying, harassment, and online predators.

Children may struggle to navigate complex social dynamics and cope with negative interactions in the digital realm.

Loss of real-world interaction

Digital communication has transformed the way people interact and connect with one another.

However, excessive reliance on digital devices for communication may lead to a decline in face-to-face interaction and the development of essential social skills such as empathy, active listening, and conflict resolution.

Children may struggle to form meaningful relationships outside of the digital sphere, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Impact on mental health

Research suggests a correlation between excessive screen time and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, particularly among adolescents.

Constant exposure to curated online personas, unrealistic beauty standards, and cyberbullying can negatively impact children’s self-perception and mental well-being.

Additionally, the constant stimulation provided by digital devices can disrupt emotional regulation and exacerbate stress and anxiety.

Privacy concerns

Generation Alpha’s online activities generate vast amounts of personal data, which may be collected, analyzed, and monetized by companies and advertisers. Children may unwittingly share sensitive information online, such as their location, photos, and personal details, putting their privacy and security at risk. Parents must educate their children about online privacy and implement measures to safeguard their personal information.

Diminished attention span

The fast-paced nature of digital content, such as social media feeds, video games, and online videos, can contribute to shortened attention spans and difficulties sustaining focus on offline tasks.

Children may become accustomed to constant stimulation and instant gratification, making it challenging for them to engage in activities that require sustained attention and effort, such as reading or completing homework assignments.

Disrupted sleep Patterns

Exposure to blue light emitted by screens can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, leading to difficulties falling asleep and maintaining healthy sleep patterns.

Children who use digital devices before bedtime may experience delayed sleep onset, poorer sleep quality, and daytime drowsiness, which can negatively impact their overall health and academic performance.

Educational challenges

While technology can enhance learning experiences and provide access to a wealth of educational resources, over-reliance on digital devices may hinder children’s ability to engage in deep, focused learning.

Constant multitasking and exposure to distractions can impede information retention, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

Additionally, children may struggle to differentiate between credible sources of information and misinformation online, leading to confusion and misunderstanding.

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