The writing is on the wall: we will become more connected, more wired and more distracted in years to come. And there’s no turning back.
As it is hard enough to keep up with the latest technological developments and nigh impossible to be able to separate the healthy from the unhealthy influences of this technology. Whether it’s the first iPod, mobile phone, gaming console, tablet or laptop, parents often find themselves twiddling their thumbs over the decision, fearing that their child is too young or they are opening up the floodgates for other must-have devices.
Personally, I don’t see there’s a clear answer.
Let me share my experience. My boy is 10 months old and is extremely happy at any chance to tap on iPad, smartphones screens. I have never formally introduced the tablet in his routine but he sees me using these while he is being fed or playing with his toys. Then I downloaded some baby apps like educational videos that were about numbers and letters and that was all he needed to take over the iPad from me.
Am I upset over his new habit to watch a video or two on my iPad? No. Will I take away the gadgets from his surrounding and make him play with just toys and other kids? Absolutely not. Will I limit the time spent by my baby watching baby apps on smartphone and tablet. 100% yes.
Even at most exclusive play schools and day care centers, where we pay a hefty fee, use iPads and interactive screens to connect with kids. Most leading schools now require children to be technology-savvy.
The other side
There have been several reports that warn on side-effects of technology on young children. Children’s heads absorb twice as much microwave radiation from cell phones as adult heads do, according to a recently published scientific report from the Environmental Health Trust (EHT) and Healthy Child Healthy World, two nonprofit research and educational groups. A child’s brain, healthy or otherwise, is cased in a thinner skull; that’s why they absorb more microwave radiation.
Reports claim that exposure can be reduced by “keeping devices at a distance” such as placing the wireless router away from where people spend time, or reducing the time spent online. One option is switching to the old-fashioned wired-in landline phone instead of cordless phones, many of which “are continually transmitting low-level signals.”
Another report suggests that parents should keep their phones fully charged at all times. A device with a low battery emits more radiation.
So, what to do?
Technology overload, you say? Then just turn the devices off because balanced life is just a click away.