Our discussion about babies and technology today really got me thinking about the risks that all the new technology is posing to babies and toddlers today. Just like a lot of people in class I too have seen babies using iPhones and iPads as if they are three times their age. Two of my cousins have little boys who just recently turned three and I have seen both of them playing games on iPhones and taking selfies when they think no one is looking. We talked about how there really isn’t evidence yet about the effects of letting young babies use this technology because it is so new but I thought I would research it some more and see if I could find anything interesting.
One article that I found that was published back in April on NY Daily News reported that Common Sense Media did a report and found that 38% of babies under two years old use smartphones and tablets. That seemed to me a very high percentage and it seems especially high when you consider that it was just 10% only three years ago in 2011. A few different parents were interviewed in this article and the reporter, Heidi Evans, even talked to doctors and psychologists and they reiterated what we talked about in class; that it is so new we don’t have the answers to whether it is good or bad for young children.
A spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatricians, Dr. Ari Brown, says that they encourage moderation in a child’s use of electronics and also recommends no TV use for children under two. This made a lot of sense to me but I still don’t see a need to give babies iPhones or iPads at all. They should be playing with the things around them and learning from the environment they are in. Babies brains are developing extremely rapidly and interactions with their parents and loved ones shape who they become. They should be engaging in active exploration and play for the majority of their day.
One of the biggest problems with babies being shaped by the people around them is that now the people around them are always on their phones or computers or tablets so that is what the baby is going to want to do as well. I think parents should not only keep electronics away from children under 5 but they should themselves limit their use of technology around their impressionable babies and toddlers.
I don’t know if we actually explicitly talked about where we all stand regrading having our children or children in general using electronics at such a young age so I was curious to see how many people thought it is a good idea and how many are against it, as I am.