One technology company based in the Netherlands recently released a study on tech habits among children ages zero to five. The results are frightening, to say the least. Along with a greater risk of visual problems, including going cross-eyed, young tech-addicted children are incredibly ill-equipped to relate to, let alone survive in the world around them:
A majority of small children can seamlessly move a mouse, play a computer game and operate a smartphone, but fall short when it comes to everyday life tasks like tying their shoelaces or making their own breakfast.
The study found that more than 58 percent of children age two to five have no trouble playing a basic video game, but are found to have issues riding a bicycle and preparing a meal in the morning for themselves.
And AVG also discovered that more children (25 percent) know how to open a web browser than swim without help (20 percent).
What’s even scarier? The statistics on toddlers being able to operate smartphones before they even begin to talk. Nearly 60% of children surveyed under the age of three were able to swipe a screen in order to get a smart device working before they were able to speak. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to any parent who understands the cause-and-effect impulse of an electronic toy. It should, however, set off alarm bells when it comes to the potential ramifications of screen media on a child’s social and emotional development. (Hint: Those kids might have delayed talking for one really big, distracting reason.)
Toddlers of moms age 35 and older were better able to write their own names than children of mothers 34 and under. While the more tech-savvy toddlers were able to swipe screens, they were not able to type words. Nor, in some instances, were they even able to talk. Yet, although words alluded them, they were able to take pictures. Half of children age three and under enjoy taking selfies. This is, of course, due in large part to the fact that their parents upload pictures of them to social media accounts daily. The study revealed that 92% of American children under the age of two have a social media presence thanks to their parents.
In an era where teen suicide is on the rise, in large part thanks to cyberbullying conducted via social media, that statistic is anything but reassuring.
Yet, all hope is not lost thanks to “geriatric” mothers. The study revealed that children of mothers age 35 and above have more “life skills” than do their counterparts with younger parents. Older mothers, born when Internet technology was still in its infancy and raised without the aid of smartphones, parent more self-sufficient children. This is especially ironic given the criticisms many older women face for “pushing off” pregnancy. As it turns out, the women who waited to have children may be doing their part to save a generation being raised to believe devices are inherently smarter than people.