“The iPhone has revolutionized telecommunications. It has also become the most effective tool in human history to mollify a fussy toddler, much to the delight of parents reveling in their newfound freedom to have a conversation in a restaurant or roam the supermarket aisles in peace,” Hilary Stout reports for The New York Times. “But just as adults have a hard time putting down their iPhones, so the device is now the Toy of Choice — akin to a treasured stuffed animal — for many 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds. It’s a phenomenon that is attracting the attention and concern of some childhood development specialists.”
MacDailyNews Take: Ooh, concern. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt are sure to follow…
Stout reports, “Apple, the iPhone’s designer and manufacturer, has built its success on machines so simple and intuitive that even technologically befuddled adults can figure out how to work them, so it makes sense that sophisticated children would follow. The most recent model is 4.5 inches tall, 2.31 inches wide and weighs 4.8 ounces: sleek, but not too small for those with developing motor skills. Tap a picture on the screen and something happens. What could be more fun?”
“Many iPhone apps on the market are aimed directly at preschoolers, many of them labeled ‘educational,’ such as Toddler Teasers: Shapes, which asks the child to tap a circle or square or triangle; and Pocket Zoo, which streams live video of animals at zoos around the world. There are ‘flash cards’ aimed at teaching children to read and spell, and a ‘Wheels on the Bus’ app that sings the popular song in multiple languages. Then there’s the new iGo Potty app (sponsored by Kimberly-Clark, maker of Huggies training pants), with automated phone calls reminding toddlers that it’s time to ‘go,'” Stout reports. “Along with fears about dropping and damage, however, many parents sharing iPhones with their young ones feel nagging guilt. They wonder whether it is indeed an educational tool, or a passive amusement like television.”
Stout reports, “As with TV in earlier generations, the world is increasingly divided into those parents who do allow iPhone use and those who don’t.”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Tetrachloride” for the heads up.]