Ooh Baby Baby

August 10, 2011

No, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that more than one in five children has used a smartphone by the age of 2.

This is especially true among Gen Y moms, where technology is in their DNA.  And they are passing along those same traits and habits to their kids.  A newly released survey by BlogHer.com and the Parenting Group (they run Parenting, Babytalk, and Parenting.com) tell us what we have already observed.

I talk with a lot of colleagues who are young parents.  And the integration of technology through computers, tablets, and of course, cell and smartphones is at a high level.  Many are achieving proficiency with these devices before they successfully learn how to use the toilet.

It makes me want to pitch Arbitron on a baby ethnographic study to learn more about this phenomenon.  But given how much I enjoy sitting near toddlers at restaurants, maybe this isn’t such a good idea.

But it does speak to the overwhelming reality that smartphones – while still an option for many people today – will become standard equipment for young children even as many enter kindergarten.  While the schools may balk at this practice, nervous parents won’t be able to untether from their kids, and the smartphone is the conduit.

I hear stories of toddlers walking up to TV screens and trying to change and expand the images by touching them.  This is learned behavior and an expectation of how things ought to work.

We live in a touch screen world and you wonder how many of these kids will have Facebook profiles by the time they enter school.

Don’t laugh.  Time’s “Healthland” site reported last week that Facebook now makes it easy for parents-to-be to announce their new family members.  A new standard choice to identify family has been created: “Expected: Child.”

It’s complicated.


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3 Responses to Ooh Baby Baby

  1. Toddlers and Smartphones | JacAPPS on August 10, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    [...] Are you surprised to read that more than one in five children have used a smartphone by the age of 2? Read more here. [...]

  2. Steve Poley on August 10, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    About the iPhone. My granddaughters used their mother’s iPhone all the time. Same things as your morning newsletter points out. I can add two things … 1) these iPhone kids will grow up to be “Mac” users and will look at Windows/PC as a second-best platform; and 2) granddaughter Katy just ran up a $200 iPhone bill playing Smurfs. The program allows in-app purchases and my 5-year old granddaughter has learned to type the password. Password now changed and held secret.

    • Fred Jacobs
      Fred Jacobs on August 10, 2011 at 11:24 AM

      Steve, thanks for taking to time to leave some thoughtful comments. No wonder why Apple is worth more than Exxon. And watch those passwords!

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