Technology and kids today, eh?

by Heather McGreevy

When I was younger, the most high-tech toy I played with was my Etch-A-Sketch. Today for kids, its all about the smart phones, iPads, Wii, Xbox Kinnect, and so on and so forth. So what has changed from when I was little?

I’m not even that old (22), yet the way in which technology has developed since I was younger has been immense and it seems now that the younger generation are being born into a technology driven society who just can’t live without their Blackberries and iPads. Even trusty Blue Peter has moved into the digital age and announced the launch of its all new, technology led programme which will include discussions on smart phones and new technologies to keep the kids interested.

Internet security company AVG studied the way in which children are using technology today and came back with some pretty shocking results. They found that a staggering 70% of children in the UK, aged 2-5 know how to play a computer game (I’m pretty sure I was still playing with plasticine at that age), and that 25% of children can open a web browser which is more than the amount of children able to tie their shoe laces – crazy!

So what are we saying here? Is technology becoming too much of a focus for younger generations? Or could it be argued that the increased use of technology at a younger age is now part and parcel of growth and development and could it be classed as important as learning to read and write?

Personally, I wouldn’t say that it was essential for a 2 year old to have a Blackberry, because lets be honest – how many emails are they really going to be recieving? However, I think there could be benefits to using some new technologies to enhance learning. Products such as the iPad can offer more learning tools for young children so I wouldn’t be opposed to them using it for that reason. On the entertainment front though, I say turn off the Xbox, put down the iPhone and go out to play on your bike!

What are your thoughts on this subject? Drop us a comment below and let us know your opinion.
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