As I read author Hanna Rosin's article - The Touch-Screen Generation - I was thinking about my US-based grandsons, aged 5 and 7, who, I noticed, loved to spend time with an iPad during their India trip for a couple of weeks. They watch basketball, run car races, play tennis, chess, and do quite a few other things I am not familiar with.
The Atlantic magazine article discusses the phenomenon of today's children spending more and more time with digital technology. What does it mean for their development ? Hanna Rosin, who disagrees with the American Academy of Pediatrics, favours the idea of children engaged with interactive digital media for their development.. She reckons a child who is adept with iPad hardly needs any teaching. The Academy of Pediatrics wouldn't recommend children's exposure to digital media, even though over 90 percent of American parents say their kids - even 2-year olds - are exposed to some form of electronic media at home.
The question, as Hanna phrased it, how would you want today's children to deal with technology ? Parents who, in their own childhood learned to curb technology , would want their kids to keep off it. Those who realise inevitability of increasing role of technology in daily life would rather want to see their young ones to integrate technology , making it a natural, organic part of life.
Hanna Rosin is not among those who believe free and open exposure leads to addiction. As part of parenting those bringing up young kids amid a digital clutter around their house - smart phone, iPad, computer, interactive Tv etc - would do well to be discriminative enough to understand when their kids engaged with iPad are concentrating intensely ; and when iPad becomes an addiction. Incidence of iPad addiction among children is a rare phenomenon, says Hanna Roasin.