The Digital Child

SHAILA on April 05, 2013

I am sure you are aware that children are taking to mobile technology in a big way. It is expected. Many parents are handing down their mobile devices to their children to keep them occupied. Moreover, children learn by imitation. When they see their parents using a mobile gadget for almost everything, they like to do the same.

James Steyer, chief executive of Common Sense Media, says in a New York Times article, “It’s the beginning of an important shift, as parents increasingly are handing their iPhones to their 1 ½ year-old kid as a shut-up toy. And parents who check their e-mail three times on the way to the bus stop are constantly modeling that behavior, so it’s only natural the kids want to use mobile devices too.”

James Steyer talks about 1 ½ year olds using an iPhone, but here’s another startling figure. EverdayFamily.com reveals in an infographic that 10% of children below the age of 1 (still in their diapers) use a mobile gadget. Do we need any more proof that a digital child is created right in the cradle?

% of children using mobile devices
% of children using mobile devices
This fact is not lost on designers of mobile apps. They know the kid’s industry is a booming segment and have targeted their attention there. 

                    Mobile App Developers

Their Sector of Concentration

                              28%

    Arts & Music

                              19%

    Character Based

                              42%

    Maths & Puzzles

                              46%

    Games & Fun

 
It will be interesting to see how these babies and toddlers who are exposed to technology at such an early age will behave as adults. Will they be glued to their screens even more than their parents do today? Or will it become passe and they develop a resistance due to over-exposure? Only time will tell. There are interesting times ahead.
 
Shaila is a blogger at Mobicip - the #1 parental control service for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, iPad mini, Android-based tablets and smartphones, Kindle Fire, and Windows laptops. Shaila loves to write about mobile learning and the impact of technology and the internet on families.