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6 Surprising Benefits of Digital Media for Your Kid

Are you worried about how much time your kid spends on their phone? You may be thinking it’s harming their development, but - surprise! - digital media also has positive effects if used correctly. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that technology can help your kid grow and learn.

Stefanie Parth
3/1/2023 • 7 min
Boy using digital tablet for his homework, for searching information on internet

1. Digital Media Can Enhance Learning

One of the most significant benefits of digital media is that it can help your kid learn new things. There are lots of educational apps, online courses, and interactive tools that make learning new skills and concepts fun and engaging. Digital media also provides access to a vast range of information and resources, which is great for kids who are curious and eager to learn.

Digital media helps kids learn about science, history, and other subjects in a more interactive and immersive way. They can watch cool videos, explore virtual worlds, and play educational games that help them understand complex concepts in a way that is both entertaining and informative.

And while there is often concern about the negative effects of gaming, it can actually help your kid develop their brain power. Playing games can improve cognitive function, problem-solving, and even social skills. Multiplayer games give teens the chance to work together and develop communication and teamwork. Role-playing games help them develop empathy and understand other people's perspectives and experiences.

Digital media can be extra helpful for kids with learning disabilities or special needs. There are apps and tools made just for them, like speech therapy apps, assistive technology, and games that focus on specific skills.

2. Digital Media Can Help Kids Explore Their Identities

Digital media can be a powerful tool for kids to explore who they are. By seeing different perspectives and experiences online, kids learn more about themselves and others, and develop a greater sense of self-awareness. This is especially important for teens. Adolescence is a time of exploration and self-discovery, and digital media can provide a platform for teens to express themselves and explore different aspects of their identities.

Digital media also offers a safe and supportive environment for self-exploration. For example, kids who are questioning their gender or sexual orientation can find online resources and LGBTQ+ support groups that provide guidance. And kids who are dealing with mental health challenges can find online communities that offer support and understanding.

3. Digital Media Can Foster Creativity

Another significant benefit of digital media is that it can help your kid be creative. With digital tools like graphic design software, music production software, and video editing tools, kids can express themselves in new and exciting ways.

Kids use digital tools to create their own music, design their own graphics, or make their own videos. This kind of creative expression can be incredibly empowering for kids and makes them feel more confident in their own unique voice and ideas.

Plus, digital media gives kids a chance to collaborate and share their work with others. They use social media or online groups to connect with like-minded kids and show off what they’ve made. This can make them feel like they’re part of a community and inspire them to continue exploring their creative potential.

4. Digital Media Can Improve Communication Skills

Through social media, messaging apps and online gaming communities, kids are increasingly using digital tools to communicate with others. While there are certainly potential risks associated with this, there are also many positive effects.

For example, digital communication can aid kids in practising their writing skills, as they learn to express themselves clearly and concisely in text-based messages. It can also help them learn to communicate effectively in different situations, such as sending a formal email or texting a friend.

Kids may connect with people online and make friends through digital media. Sometimes, it's easier for teens to talk to someone online than it is to talk to them in person. This can be really beneficial for kids who are shy or anxious in social situations. They can practice their social skills online and make friends that way.

5. Digital Media Can Promote Health

While there is often a concern that technology is contributing to a sedentary lifestyle, there are also many ways that digital media can promote physical activity. There are lots of fitness apps and online workout programs that help kids stay active and healthy. Kids can also find new and exciting ways to explore the outdoors. For example, they can use GPS-enabled apps to go on virtual scavenger hunts, or learn about plants and animals with augmented reality tools.

Digital media can also provide teens information about (mental) health. With telemedicine and mental health apps, teens can access mental health resources from the comfort of their own home. This can be a source of support for teens who are struggling with mental health challenges but feel hesitant to seek help in person.

There are apps available that address anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Kids can also find online support groups where they can connect with others who are going through similar experiences. This provides a sense of community and support that can be incredibly helpful during difficult times.

Digital media also plays an important role in providing teens information about sexuality and sexual health. They can explore their curiosity, find answers to their questions and learn about staying safe and healthy. There are plenty of online resources that help teens find out more about topics like contraception, STIs, and healthy relationships.

6. Digital Media Can Provide Opportunities for Global Learning

Through social media, kids connect with people from different countries and learn about different cultures and perspectives. They can also watch videos, listen to podcasts, and read articles to learn about different parts of the world. In that sense, digital media broadens their horizons and teaches kids a greater appreciation for diversity and inclusion.

Teens use social media and online forums to talk about important issues and learn from other people's perspectives. Digital media can also give kids and teens access to lots of different news sources and opinions. This helps them learn to think critically and make their own opinions about important issues.

And let’s not forget about all the cool cultural online resources. Kids can take virtual tours of museums or listen to music from around the world. This is a great way to learn about different forms of art and culture and maybe even find a new hobby.

Smiling middle-aged 40s mother rest with teenage son using smartphone together, happy young man enjoy family weekend with mom taking a selfie, have fun at home

Teach your kid the ways to make the most out of digital media. (Source: Shutterstock)

Tips for Encouraging Positive Use of Digital Media

Digital media and technology can have many positive effects on kids and teens, but let’s not forget about the potential risks. Always keep in mind: balance is key. Make sure to find a balance between screen time and other activities for your kid, as well as creating a safe online environment for them. And beyond that, be present in your kid’s online life. Actively teach them the ways to make the most out of digital media.

Here are some tips to help your kid use digital media in a healthy and safe way:

Set limits on screen time: While it’s important to allow your kid to explore digital media, you should set reasonable limits on screen time.

Encourage physical activity: Make sure to keep your kid active and healthy by encouraging outdoor play, sports, and other physical activities.

Monitor online activity: Keep an eye on your kid’s online activity to ensure that they are not exposed to inappropriate content or engaging in risky behaviors online. Ohana can help you do this.

Encourage positive interactions: Talk to your kid about online etiquette and the importance of treating others with respect and kindness.

Model responsible digital behavior: Kids learn by example, so it’s important to model responsible digital behavior yourself. Use digital media and technology in a responsible and healthy way, and show your kid how to do the same.

Use screen time effectively: Encourage your kid to use educational apps and online courses to develop new skills and knowledge.

By following these tips, you can create the safe environment your kid needs to thrive in the digital world. Are you ready?

Berger, M. N., Taba, M., Marino, J. L., Lim, M. S. C., & Skinner, S. R. (2022). Social Media Use and Health and Well-being of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Youth: Systematic Review. Journal of medical Internet research, 24(9), e38449. https://doi.org/10.2196/38449
Prothero, A. (2024). How Social Media May Benefit Teens’ Mental Health. Education Week. Retrieved from https://www.edweek.org/leadership/how-social-media-may-benefit-teens-mental-health/2024/02
Tartari, E. (2015). Benefits and Risks of Children and Adolescents using Social Media. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 11(13). Retrieved from https://eujournal.org/index.php/esj/article/view/5654