Studies regarding the Internet started by first finding out who among people could access the internet. After this, researchers went on to investigate who used the internet, the time one spent on the internet and what they did on the internet. This study starts by assuming that majority of the children can access the internet be it in school, at home or library. Thus, examining the actual internet usage among children and how it affects the childrens lives socially, physically or psychologically. It will involve carrying out investigations on the childrens level of physical activities, their social interaction and the generally how they relate with others. The study will also go ahead to examine how children allocate the time they have on both normal activities and internet.
Various studies have been done by several scholars about the internet impact on people and the society and come up with advantages and disadvantages of internet use. Children are specifically significant subjects when studying the internet since they are believed to be the Net generation and also because the number of children that can access the internet keeps growing very fast. According to Pew Internet & American Life Project, 45% of children under 18years in American accessed internet (Pew Research Centre, 2000). Since there exist no specific regulations on internet access by governments, schools and parents raises more concern and the fact that existing research on this topic has mixed findings, it is therefore important to know the impact that the internet has on children development physically, socially and psychologically so as to reconsider or confirm the previous research results.
Statement of the Problem:
With this study, researchers will carry out an investigation on the effect of internet on children. The invention of new medium has always raised concern to the society as to how it will impact on children be it positively or negatively. Various studies have studied the effect of many types of media on children. In the 1920s the Payne Fund investigated the impact of movies on children
(Lowery & DeFleur, 1995). Many other researchers also studied the impact of internet concentrating on content, attitudes, health, conduct extra. After analysis of the internet content, it was reported that the internet does not only provide educative content to its users but also some materials on internet contains information that could be harmful to children. Also, studies also found out that children were more vulnerable to emotional arousal than adults by concluding that some internet content might interfere with a childs mind and behavior. These enticed us to carry out research to determine how the internet affect children so as to make better conclusion.
Purpose of the Study:
The purpose of this study is to investigate and find out the impact that the internet has on children. The study will help researchers have a better understanding of the effects that the internet can have on young children.
Objectives of the Study:
General objective: To investigate the effects of internet on the childrens social, physical and psychological wellbeing.
To understand the concept of internet in more elaborated way
To identify the possible problems of using internet to children
To evaluate the total time spend by children on internet
To provide suggestions for better of controlling childrens internet access.
Methodology of the Study
I have gathered all the information relevant for the study, this includes the previous studies on the same. The data is collected was both from primary sources and secondary sources.
Face to face interview with various parents
Face to face interviews with several children above 10 years and below 18 years.
Secondary data: secondary data was gathered from the following sources:
Official documents about internet
Data gathered from the random text messages we did send
General reports that exist in libraries and other places.
Limitations of the study:
There were several limitations of carrying out the study:
With the time allocated for the semester and the unit, it is not sufficient time to conduct and complete a fruitful study.
Time constraint also affected the scope of the study
Some respondents were too busy to finish the one on one interviews.
There was also the limitation of some respondents just ticking the answers to the questions for the sake of finishing. So there is no guarantee for the data collected to be 100% efficient there we considered level of significance in analysing.
LITERATURE REVIEW AND FRAMEWORK
2.1 Literature review:
Internet as a New Medium: The Internet as a New Medium has several implications on peoples lives. The internet both drives people apart and bring them together through social media. The Internet also plays a major part in privatizing of peoples lives and in some way communities are built using the internet too. Nevertheless, the internet isolates us so much and at the same time is promotes activism in people. Apart from this, the internet does affect children psychologically as much as it helps them psychologically. The internet also provide its users with great knowledge about sensitive aspects of life and it to some extent leave its users with no sense of the local community (Kubey, 2000)
With this, the Internet has become a very significant research topic in different fields from sociology, psychology, public health, education extra. Another characteristic of the internet is that it transcends both time and space. The internet provides the easy way of connecting with people from far away. In fact, both children and grownups connect with people and friends in various countries through social media (Wolcott, 1999). The Internet is a global place where people can meet new friends worldwide, and this was not possible before internet invention. Noteworthy, the Internet also changes people's sense of time. People no longer have to wait for a specific time to get the news or information they want since the internet can be accessed any time of the day and from anywhere.
Revolutionary tool of communication: Noteworthy, the internet is one of the revolutionary tools of communication. Due to the internet now people have the internet as a communication tool. This tool provides people with a more easy way of keeping in touch with their loved ones. An internet survey was conducted by the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society in 1999 using a national sample of 4,113 persons from 2,689 households. Nie and Erbring (2000) preliminary report of this survey indicated that emails sending and receiving were the most commonly used among people. The Internet therefore offers a new way of connecting with others in addition to the phone and mail invention.
Oravec (2000) in his study argued that neighbour notion changed from referring to those who live nearby and now with the internet it consists of the people one meet and holds a relationship with. In fact, people can now create real friendship through various websites, support groups (Parks & Roberts, 1998).
Childrens Time Use: In a study by Bianchi and Robinson (1997) revealed that most studies were done on how children spend their time focused more on the time the children spend with their parents rather than on the internet. This study will concentrate on the time that children spend doing activities on different media devices and the time spent doing non-media activities. Several studies by different researchers (Timmer, Eccles, &OBrien, 1985; Carpenter, Huston, & Spera, 1989) stated that children spend most of their doing so many activities like playing, schooling, watching, sleeping, and eating. Since the number of children who can access and use the internet is ever growing together with the time spent on the internet, many are worried that the internet might interfere with the childrens routine activities that are of more importance. A recent study by Gross et al. (2002) about childrens activities including using the internet found out that children spend their after-school time doing routine activities like meeting friends, talking on the phone, sports extra. In this study, children spend less time on the internet.
Reliability: it refers to the aspect of something being dependable or reliable (Lin and Chin 2007). With reference to the quality of service, the internet has a great impact in terms of reliability. Both Madu 2002 and Santos 2002 defined reliability as the capability of a device performing accurately and efficiently by updating internet website. Basing on the theoretical review of the study reliability is one of the frequent dimension of service quality.
2.2 Conceptual Framework
Childrens time use
Revolutionary tool for communication
Internet as a New Medium
2.3 Research Questions:
What are the general characteristics of the children using the Internet?
What is the amount of time that children spend on the internet as compared other media activities?
What are the general characteristics of children using other media like television, radio?
What is the perception with regards to internet usage and time spent in terms of age, gender, and Internet experience?
General characteristic of children using internet change.
Children spend more time on internet than they do spend other media activities
The general characteristics of children that use other media like radio remain the same in most cases
People of different age and gender perceive internet usage differently.
As shown in the conceptual framework diagram this study has three independent variables and one dependent variable. The conceptual frameworks also show the relationship that exists between the independent variables and dependent variables. It is vital to explore the importance of this relationship so as to ensure the stipulated purpose of this study is met. Since the study intends to help, people understand the impacts of the internet on young children both the negative and positive effects. This helps people and especially parents and guardians know how to regulate internet access by children.
This research type is descriptive in nature, and it is a casual study. Given that the type of study carried out to answer the research questions and test the hypothesis was a casual study. The study will bring out the cause and the effect of the relationship between the dependent and independent variables.
The following sampling method was adopted for this study;
Sampling Frame: The population for this study consisted of parents, guardians, teachers, children under 18years and some random people who were willing to participate in the questionnaire. The...
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