Fred Wilson is thinking about kids and technology and I have to say my kids are much like his. Maybe it is because my husband is a techno-geek of the highest calibre and we all love him for it and the gifts it brings into our home.
Yup, my youngins’ are being raised with leading edge toys and gadgets because daddy has them lying about. My 9 and 10 year olds (when this was originally posted in November 2004) have hand me down laptops, they IM me on the wireless network between rooms to ask if I can help them with homework, they burn CDs to listen to in the car on headphones on their independent listening station in the back seat. They both want to know when they can get cell phones.
Is my family dysfunctional or modern?
This question was tackled yesterday in the New York Times Article (reg req’d) “Babes In a Grown Up Toyland”. I especially agree with the sentiments expressed by Dr Peter Stearns:
“We’ve been worried about the presumed innocence of children being destroyed by too much exposure to media for a hundred years, and this is another iteration of the same phenomenon,” said Dr. Peter Stearns, a historian and the provost of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. “I do worry that we have an idealized view of a past childhood that hasn’t been true for a long time, and perhaps was never true.”
I think that the idea of volume, quality, context, balance all need to be addressed – but in and of itself – there is nothing wrong with technology and children’s interactions with it.