Gizmodo had a fascinating article yesterday on tablet time for toddlers and whether limiting their time was actually a good idea.
Tablet time and TV time are often lumped together as screen time, but the article makes the point that while TV time is passive, tablet time often isn’t. She talks about her children and what they have seemingly effortlessly learned to do online:
My kids know how to skip ads on videos and how to navigate a website even if they can’t read the words on it. They know what information you can get from a phone, and will pipe up to recommend I text Daddy or ask Google or punch something into the GPS. Keeping kids away from screens is as nonsensical as if parents of the past kept their kids away from the radio, or the telephone, or pencils and paper.
That last line resonated with me. Tablets are going to be (and for many already are) the pencils and papers of tomorrow. It never would have occurred to me as a parent to limit pencil time.
We didn’t limit screen time for my now 23 year old. He didn’t have a tablet, but he did have various Gameboys, and I always chuckled when I saw him and his best friend, walking round and round the neighborhood, talking and playing games on their respective Gameboys.
I recently splurged on a Nintendo 2DS (must finally play Fire Emblem: Awakening!), and I also picked up Super Smash Brothers. I was having some trouble with that one because some of the controls are not intuitive to me. My son picked it up and immediately figured out the things I was having trouble with. He said, casually, “I’ve been playing games so long that I sort of just know this stuff.”
That’s what I want for him. I want technology to be something he just knows, instead of having to take special classes like my generation did. My high school and college had classes in “using computers.” I can’t imagine a need for “using tablet” classes for Millennials and the next generations. They are growing up with and learning technology by, I guess, osmosis, and I think that’s a good thing.
Anyone else agree or disagree?