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Babies are getting better and better with technology. They still suck at driving though, so… I’ve got them there. Welcome to DNews, I’m Ross Everett and I’m better than a baby. Sure, baby’s are tiny balls of meat that somehow have managed to make being baldly adorable, but the question everyone is asking, for the sake of this news piece, is at what age should they be allowed to use digital media? There are videos on the internet of babies using smartphones like it’s second nature, swishing and swiping.
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Tapping and turning, all as if it’s an extension of themselves. Which is terrifying. They’re advancing quicker than we’ve ever imagined. Next thing you know, they’re going to get older and take over our jobs just like humans have been doing for generations
The American Pediatric Association says that screens should be avoided before the age of two, but they also lump passively watching tv into the same category as the interactive and participatory use of smartphones and tablets which seems absurd. Well, it’s possible that children under the age of two might not be able to distinguish the difference between the two screens.
Minds that young can’t comprehend what we call dual representation, which is the ability to look at a photo of a car and know that it is both a picture and a representation of a car. Child psychologists also point out that interactive apps can interfere with a child’s story comprehension. Apps lack the necessary range and linguistic cues of a human speaker, which are crucial for early language development in kids as they need to be able to try mimicking facial expressions, gestures, tones of voice and body language.
Which is why I sound so much like my mother and father when I talk, and not as an app. But, come on! We’re not at a place where technology could adopt natural sounding voices? I call shenanigans. Quality matters, though, and while children’s print books go through a competitive peer-review process, sometimes with years of experts weighing in with an opinion, app store review guidelines for children apps are way quicker by comparison.
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Not to mention the lack of variation an app conveys the world to be compared to the actual world. And it’s reported that touch is the number one means of communication and learning in early childhood, so when we replace squeezing and chewing, with swiping and tapping children might be missing out on some very important developmental tools. Of course, it’s impossible and impractical to keep babies away from the devices that are everywhere in our lives, but this is merely a report on the importance of continuing real-life contact and interactions with children instead of letting a device raise and teach the child so we can continue letting our devices run our lives. In fact, some of you might be watching this on one right now… What do you think, how much screen time is too much screen time for children? Let me know in the comments down below. And if you’re curious about if Internet addiction is a real thing, I was in a video over on The New Show that explains how it could actually be worse than alcohol withdrawal.