Digital generation

childsplayI can’t help being impressed by how adept my two year old is at using my husband’s tablet computer. He can get to the menu screen, find the games we’ve saved for him, select ‘play’ before knowing his letters, as well as navigate his way around. Using a touch screen is second nature to him.

It’s not a surprise that our children are a digital generation – social media will be the norm for them.

What I did find surprising were some statistics I read in the paper this week, such as 4 percent of toddlers go online while they are at nursery. While I think it is great that they get exposure to technology (a part of our everyday lives now) so early on is great- it will make life easier for them in their education and career.

However, I would hate this to stop children spending time playing together, having creative play and looking at books.

Last weekend, my husband’s family parents and aunts / uncles came for lunch. They were reminiscing how no such technology was available to them when they were young and, not coming from a wealthy background, they had to create games for themselves to play. Thinking about the creative things they did – the imagination they used – made me slightly concerned that some of that wonder and inspiration will be lost in this digital world.

I only hope that having the whole world at your fingertips (literally with the World Wide Web) will not stop children using their imaginations and wanting to play with others.

For now, I have to admit to using an episode of my two year old’s favourite programme on the tablet as a bit of negotiation at bedtime, but it is followed by milk and books before bed – I hope the balance of tech and social play will continue.

 

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