Witnessed at a restaurant this past week: a child less than 2 years old entertaining herself the entire time while her parents ignored her before dinner (talking with an adult friend while waiting for dinner) and then when the parents were eating dinner:
Her swiping skills were exceptional. Her connection with adults was minimal. The only times she interacted with her parents was when they gave her a cracker when dinner was being served and the toddler did not miss a beat as she kept swiping and eating simultaneously. She did not start crying until the end of the parents’ dinner and her mother took her into her arms.
Having baby entertain herself allowed the parents to have a dinner consisting of adult conversation with no baby interruptions. But what is this doing to the baby? One British expert says not to worry, it’s actually beneficial to babies:
Another British scientist disagrees with Karmiloff-Smith and contends that babies using electronic devices is harmful to human development:
An article in mosaicsience.com gives anecdotal stories of what happens when babies use technology and the melt downs babies have when this occurs:
Jessica’s tiny fingers dart around the iPad, swiping through photos to get to a particularly entertaining video: a 12-second clip of her dancing to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies”. The 18-month-old taps “play” and emits a squeal of delight. When Jessica’s mum, Sandy, tries to take away the iPad, there’s a tantrum that threatens to go nuclear: wobbly lip, tears, hands balled into fists and a high-pitched wail. “She does this a lot,” says Sandy. “She seems to prefer the iPad to everything else[…]