Now more than ever, technology is playing a huge part in our daily lives. But while technology can be a means of learning, is it preventing children from being children?
According to a study conducted last year, 66% of kids aged between four and six used a tablet regularly. And even younger kids are apparently taking to tablets too, with 61% of three-year-olds and 38% of two-year-olds being ‘iTods’.
The question is; are these children missing out or is technology now a natural part of growing up?
Living without wi-fi
My little sister, only six years old, has unfortunately devoted her life to the iPad, knowing how to operate it nearly as well as me. Spending a summer abroad at my grandma’s wi-fi-less house took a massive toll on my little sister who didn’t know what to do to entertain herself without the aid of technology!
’Why don’t you play with your toys?’ I had suggested, but according to my sibling, she needed the iPad to do that.
It doesn’t stop there. Children are being exposed to technology everywhere, from home to school. More and more primary schools across the UK are investing in tablets and other forms of advanced gadgetry to boost learning. At my secondary school, interactive white boards are a regular occurrence in the classroom.
Granted, technology has advanced at a remarkable rate, so it’s crucial for children to be introduced to it an early age. But is this introduction to the world of smartphones and tablets turning more and more kids away from the essence of being a child?
Kids and smartphones
The topic of children owning smartphones has previously been discussed here on Which? Convo. In the poll, 31% voted that the appropriate age for a child to own a smartphone is between the ages of 15 and 17. Some went further – 25% said you should be over 18. Although I got my first phone when I was 13, I agree with this comment from Lessismore:
‘I think they (children) need to grow into the responsibility of having an iPhone.’
While technology is a brilliant tool for learning and development, I think it does have its disadvantages. Technology is highly addictive and the exposure to young children can leave them depending far too much on a piece of gadgetry and turning away from what being a child is supposed to be.
So, do you think technology is taking away the essence of childhood or is it a gateway to success?