Generation iPhone: it’s not you, it’s your baby February 4, 2010Posted by pupfiction in Uncategorized.
Tags: apps, children, education, iphone
Over the last month I have repeatedly run into situations where children were kept occupied by iPhones, literally, for hours. (Okay, the first time was when I was babysitting and couldn’t handle playing pirates with a six-year-old and a three-year-old boy and I handed them my iPhone which they instantly knew how to navigate.) A few weeks ago, out to dinner with my friends, their daughter kept herself busy throughout the evening by playing with an iPhone. I also ran across this post from the Appleblog, “I Gave My 3 Year Old an iPhone: Have I Created a Monster?” And now, Mashable excitedly reports that Elmo (the world’s favorite Sesame Street character) has not only an iPhone but an iPhone app. What does it all mean?
I’m not a parent. So I’m not going to say that you won’t run into me in a few years pushing an iPhone-clutching-baby in a stroller. And I do understand that the apps these children are using are educational, artistic, and intellectually stimulating. The woman I babysat found out my ploy and asked that I curtail her sons’ iPhone use to thirty minutes a day. Kudos to her. My friends’ daughter is older and they only used the iPhone to keep her occupied during an adult situation. Understandable. I know she spends most of her time indulged in crafts, so the iPhone seemed more like a reward. But what about these small children like the three-year-old from the Apple blog? We all know technology is addictive. Everyday, studies are published questioning its effect on attention span, social skills, physical fitness levels, and even brain function. While the iPhone might not be proven to be bad, it hasn’t proven to be good (yet). What’s going to be the results of a generation brought up on apps?