The digital world divides parents and their children

The digital world divides parents and their children

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Effects of digitization on children and adults

One of the world's leading child mental health authorities has now warned of the effects of digitalization on child development. Because of all the digital influences, the relationship between adults and children continues to deteriorate. This particularly affects what children actually learn from adults and parents.

Peter Fonagy, a professor of contemporary psychoanalysis and development science at UCL, who has published more than 500 scientific articles and 19 books, has now warned that the digital world is shortening contact time between generations - a development with potentially harmful consequences. Fonagy is also the chief executive of the Anna Freud National Center for Children and Families, a mental health charity. The professor has studied the development of children for over half a century and is therefore rightly regarded as an expert in this field.

Negative effects of the digital world

Professor Fonagy reports that, for example, emotional disorders have become much more common in young women between the ages of 14 and 19. In addition, the number of admissions to emergency rooms after self-harm has increased massively. In recent years there have also been increasing problems with outbreaks of violence by adolescent boys. Are these effects due to the influences of our digital world today? With smartphones and social media, everything is much more complex for young people and it is difficult to properly deal with these factors. Of course, the new technology doesn't just have bad sides. For example, technology could help people with mental health problems access certain resources and get help quickly when necessary.

Young people are brought up by other young people?

The professor further explained that he had the impression that young people generally have less contact with older people than before. Young people and young people, for example, are more focused on other young people through social media, some of whom are their role models and from whom they learn and adopt their behavior. In other words, the so-called socialization tool for a young person is another young person. But our brain is not made for that.

People like to spend a lot of time with friends on the Internet

The brain is designed so that a young person is socialized by an older person and supported in their development. In today's digital age, many people spend more time with friends on the Internet, for example, the family dinner is neglected. The digital world itself is not the problem, but rather what the digital influences bring to people. This time is particularly difficult for children, and they should be brought up to be more resilient to the environment in which they grow and live, explains Professor Peter Fonagy in The Guardian.

Connection between adults and children is getting worse

The connection between children and adults has loosened since the Second World War, but this loosening has become much stronger in recent years. Today's society gives children more responsibility so that they can determine their own future, but without giving them the support they need to really make the right decisions for their lives. Parents often advise children to go to a good university in order to have a successful and good life. We tell our children their future is in their hands, but we often don't give them a real choice. Parents rarely consider different career opportunities that our children could have. Often no attention is paid to what the children would actually like. For many parents, it is only important that the child attends a university.

Minimum age for certain content on the Internet?

For example, the 66-year-old Fonagy supports the decision to introduce a minimum age for access to internet pornography, which he fears will have an impact on child development. Children are less promiscuous now than they used to be, but they are more concerned with pornography, which is worrying because it will affect birth rates in the future, the professor adds. (as)

Author and source information

Video: Children in a Digital World Informing Policy with the Latest Research on How Kids Connect Online (July 2022).


  1. Darwyn

    Braves, you have not been wrong :)

  2. Ajani

    It is compliant, the piece is very good

  3. Bakree

    Well they give the heat

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