We often write about how technology affects our lives and the way we communicate with each other, but we don’t often touch on these things when it comes to little kids. The children born in this generation are the first true digital natives, and most of them will be exposed to technology from the moment they are old enough to hold a smartphone in their hands or change the Netflix movie. Is the combination of kids and technology a good thing?
I have noticed over the years on social media that there are definitely two schools of thought on this. Some parents try to shield their children from the effects of technology. As a matter of fact, just the other day I wrote about a family who decided not use any modern technology for a whole year because the parents thought it was affecting their children in a bad way. You can read about that at The Family That Vows To Only Use Outdated Technology.
There is also the group of people who encourage their children to jump on the technology bandwagon. They do this so their children can stay up-to-date and grow up with an intimate knowledge of technology, which will hopefully help them get ahead in life when they’re older. Just yesterday I read a post on Google+ where a friend of mine was talking about taking his 5th grader to the store to buy him his first smartphone. Is 10-years-old too young for a child to have a smartphone? I guess that depends on your perspective.
There was even an article on ABC News which joked that smartphones are the new pacifiers. This article on CNN suggests that kids and technology aren’t such a bad combination after all. The article states that overall, parents aren’t very worried about their kids using gadgets. Since most parents I know are addicted to their own gadgets (including me of course), it makes sense that we would inadvertently pass that addiction on to our children.
I say that jokingly because I think kids and technology are a natural fit, and as long as the gadgets are used within reason, I don’t think there is a problem with it at all. Of course, if this generation of kids grows up with relationship and attention disorders because of it, we might all rethink our position on that. This infographic called Digital Kids: Usage & Attitude (by Kids Media Centre) takes on this topic of kids and technology and provides some interesting stats about it. You might also be interested in reading 5 Ways To Keep Children Safe In Social Media.
Kids And Technology – Is It A Good Combination?