There was the Hippie Generation, the Me Generation, Generation X, and now the Touch Generation?! According to a recent article posted on Intel’s Free Press site, we could be raising the next generation of touch savvy or “digital native” tots that could undoubtedly be called the “Touch Generation.” It makes sense. In place of TV’s – Tablets, smartphones, and other “touch” friendly devices are becoming the modern day babysitter and in some cases are certainly a source of engagement for hours of entertainment for your children. Apps and accessories for smartphones and tablets are growing exponentially for children. This year’s Toy Fair was certainly and indicator of that. Whether it be kid friendly applications for your tabs and smartphones or just making kid versions of those said devices. Manufacturers have their fingers on the pulse of the impact of this “touch technology” on the current generation of children.
According to the article:
“Digital native” was a term coined by author Marc Prensky in 2001 in his book “Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.” It refers to anyone who was born after the transition from analog to digital and who generally has a greater understanding of the digital technologies from an early age.”
In addition, according to a recent study by BabyCenter, purchases of smartphones rose 64 percent amongst the 5000 mothers surveyed in the past 2 years and was a direct result of a becoming a new mommie.
So has the Smartphone as well as tablets become the new pacifier? Yes and no. As with everything, such types of interactivity should always be monitored, lest you end up with a broken device quickly. Also just like with TV’s, several hours in front of it, is ok, if your child is getting something out of it for a brief time, but shouldn’t become a replacement for human interactivity and education.
Personally, I was raised by my TV, that generation of kids who grew up on Sesame Street and 321 Contact, as well as all those famous cartoons: the Smurfs, Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Snorkels, etc..I certainly wasn’t worse for wear and for having parents who both worked ( which was slowly becoming the norm in the late 70′s). Education was going to school but when I came home, TV was my pacifier and nanny. Did I suffer because of it? Who knows…but I sure did enjoy it.
The article continues to interview bloggers and even Intel employees alike, who ultimately embrace technology but also understand that their young children need to have a healthy balance of “entertainment, education, and physical activity.”