Are Our Kids Too Plugged-In to Technology?

children on iPhoneI just read an article from yesterday’s NYT entitled, “Toddlers’ Favorite Toy: The iPhone.” The author basically states that the iPhone is to toddlers today as the evil television was to my generation. In a word, bad.

As I read the article, my 4 year old was climbing on top of me, sticking my iPhone in my face and demanding that I “beat this level of Angry Birds.” (Don’t worry, the blatant irony was not lost on me.) The iPhone has, in fact, become a very touchy subject in my house. Both the Ex and I have one, and at any hour of the day, G is either playing on one of them or whining that he wants to play on one. It is truly his toy of choice. He even interrupted a business call I was on yesterday to inform me that my turn with the phone was over – it was time for him to play Angry Birds.

Every day, it seems he spends more and more time on the iPhone. To him, it’s purely an entertainment device. He tried to talk on it the other day but couldn’t figure out how to hold it. The games he plays range from quasi-educational (I write words) to completely and utterly inane (Angry Birds). Regardless of how “good” the games are, I am worried that so much time on a device is not good for G’s development. He’d rather fling virtual birds at virtual pigs than ride his bike or play at the park. This is troubling to me, and it makes me wonder how much technology is too much for a young child? And is there any redeeming use for it in a child’s growth and development?

(NB: In G’s defense and in an attempt to make me a liar, he just put the iPhone down and asked if we could take a bike ride to the ice cream store. Perhaps if I write another post about how he doesn’t go to bed, he’ll be asleep at 8 pm tonight. One can dream, right?)

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