Since its creation in 2010, iPads, or tablets in general, have become a staple in every American household. Much like adults have their phones to rely on, children have done the same with their tablets. In fact, many kids were born with this technology at their fingertips–which perhaps began the first generation of the “Touch-Screen” generation.
With the introduction of tablets to children at such a young age, almost everything they do becomes something they can do on their tablet. From playing games to reading bedtime stories–everything they do has become technologized. As someone who babysits children, a part of me wonders if their development will be altered since they’ve been exposed to digital technology at such a young age.
In many instances, iPads have become a way to keep children entertained. While Mom is busy cooking and doesn’t want any distractions, she’ll give the kids their respective tablets. Or when one of the kids starts crying, Mom quickly puts on Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes via YouTube as a sort of “pacifier” for the crying child. Children have become so used to having this tablet in their hands that they can’t live without it–they cry the instant their devices are taken away from them and throw a tantrum about it. So, is this reliance on technology a good thing or bad thing, especially when it’s imprinted in children from such a young age?
Of course, there are many positive effects of possessing technology at a young age. Children are naturally curious, so they can use the internet to learn and consume more information. They also become a lot more experienced with technology. For example, I had recently just witnessed my 2 year old cousin effectively skip a video on YouTube when she wasn’t interested in the current video playing. Seeing this made me amazed at how effective her use of technology has become in such a short period of time. It contrasted my own beginning experiences with technology.
For me, I first received my first tablet when I was 11 years old. Prior to that, I was probably playing Pokémon nonstop on my Nintendo DS or watching Disney Channel on the family TV. You could say that I was just like one of the kids in today’s “iPad Kid” generation, just with different technological devices. Maybe other young adults were in my very place, watching me consume these forms of technology easily and effectively, and wondering how it’ll affect me.
In this case, as technology advances with each and every day, one can’t help but wonder what’ll be the next generation’s tagline? Perhaps the one during my childhood was the “TV Kid” generation, and the one during my 2 year old cousins is the “iPad Kid” generation, but what happens next? What can be more technologically advanced than the current iPad that children possess? With our current developments in artificial intelligence, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next generation’s slogan has something to do with AI…as creepy as it sounds.
Nevertheless, technology remains an easy and successful way for anyone to use and learn. We just need to be careful with how they’ll affect the fragile minds of those younger than us.