I’m writing this blog as a self confessed “i-addict” who has spent most (and when I say most, it would be around 99%) of my thirties, driving friends & loved ones insane with TSI (Time spent i-ing)… most nights up late, lying in bed with one eye open, whilst strategically trying to detract the brightness of my iscreen from my sleeping partner, left wrist numb trying to Triple-Word-score the bejesus out of acquaintances who match my ‘Words with Friends’ playing ability only to stop, by changing apps to literally ‘draw something’, before ‘scramble’ing back to WWF.
I don’t have children, though I do have many friends who do.. and almost every single one of them freely admit to providing their toddlers with an iPhone or iPad to either a) use as a learning tool b) stop them from crying or c) distract them so said parent can catch up with their friends.
I’m not sure what my opinion here should be.. as I’m a firm believer that the severity of any addiction is largely dependent on the person whom it is effecting. The time I spend on my own i-devices seems to be of great concern to my partner (I think he misses me despite sitting right next to me… Lol). I completely empathise with his concerns, as I more and more I find myself nodding knowingly with studies that the large quantity of bite size pieces of information ones brain consumes daily can effect short term memory processing. Did I even write that correctly? Point proven.
Scientists have uncovered that the way in which we – as adults, think and behave is being effected by these bursts of information. Our ability to devote ourselves wholly to one moment is now one of life’s everyday challenges. Given these (and other) long term effects on our adult minds, I am left to ponder what the long term effects will be on children, particularly when a 3 year old’s brain is twice as active than a fully developed adult.
Are we headed for an attention deficient society of poor manners, due to lack of hands on parenting, where proper English (and other correct grammatical language in general) is replaced with broken sentences constructed by acronyms or will we be filled with a world of knowledgable tween entrepreneurs, one of whom undoubtedly will develop technology to rival today’s i-obsession.
For the addicted children, i-sympathise (pardon the pun), as tech addiction started early for me too…
Flashback to my childhood & tween adolescence where a large portion of every spare hour in life was spent committed to to ‘clocking’ “Alex The Kid in Miracle World” & “Sonic The Hedgehog” on ‘Sega II’, which then followed by years glued to ‘Mario Kart’ on ‘Nintendo’, ‘Tony Hawk Pro Skater’ on ‘Playstation’ and ‘Mortal Kombat’ on ‘X-Box’ et al. I was over the age of 8 years old when my parents permitted us to have a gaming console.
When my sisters and I were under the age of 5, our parents invested their time educating us with books & creative activities. In today’s time-poor digital age (not to mention with the flailing economy that force many mothers back to work despite having toddlers) many learning tools are housed on iDevices, so I guess I’m all for learning and developing a child’s brain under 5 on these devices, but would most likely limit the apps to those of educational value until they are older.
How do we filter out education apps from others? Here’s a thought, careful placement of the icons you want your kids to play with could dominate the home screen.. And your own apps, well hidden a few screens across.