This post is written with my parent hat on. It is not my intention to judge, but to question how the quick surge and availability of mobile devices will impact social development of our kids when we let them fixate on a device instead of engage in social gatherings.
When my children were young, most of their peers had hand held devices (most likely DS’s) ……I chose not to put these devices in their hands.
As smart phones emerged, I saw adults hand these over to their children to play games and watch videos…..I chose to keep mine in my bag.
Now I see iPads, tablets and smart phones in kids hands whenever I am in a restaurant, supermarket, shopping centre, even the playground and I wonder; with every child face down at a screen, are we constructing a cohort of socially impaired kids? Are we reducing the opportunities to build social etiquitte, to learn how to engage with each other? Is it just easier to give our kids devices to keep them quiet and not think about what pattern/deficit this creates?
Don’t get me wrong, I love my technology, I love my children using technology. I love that they create, construct, play and problem solve in digital. My kids both have blogs, are Minecraft enthusiasts, are avid fan fiction writers and play multiple other games on computers and iPads. What I do hope, is that by having a few expectations around when and where they use mobile devices, I provide opportunities to develop skills that will help them build relationships and social skills in their physical world.
I would love other perspectives on this, so go ahead, comment and share your thoughts!