[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B00E435N1A” locale=”us” height=”75″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Eo4EoCByL._SL75_.jpg” width=”75″]Touch technology has altered over a third of infants’ development milestones, and we are seeing the creation of a true technophile generation happening right now. A surprising new study from Common Sense Media finds that 38% of babies under two use tablets and smartphones before learning how to speak. This figure is up from 10% in 2011. We can only speculate that this trend will continue to grow from the next generation onward, surpassing 50% or more.
Additional findings show that children eight years old or younger are using tablets five times more than two years ago, smartphone use has jumped to 75% from 52%, and the average time a child uses smartphones has tripled overall. Time with traditional devices such as TV have dropped by a half hour per day.
Research on the differences between active and passive screen time on infant development varies greatly, for better or worse. It’s known that passive screen time, i.e. sitting a toddler in front of a television for long periods of time, can delay language learning. On the other hand, studies measuring active screen time usage with programs such as Skype or Facetime have yielded positive results for general early childhood development. Jim Steyer, the director of Common Sense Media, has also noted that “kids who cannot even talk will walk up to a TV screen and try to swipe it like an iPad or iPhone.” By gradually incorporating touch technology skills to early childhood, we’re inviting all sorts of future improvements and advances to early development and learning.
[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B0013FRNKG” locale=”us” height=”75″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41gtLiEuNdL._SL75_.jpg” width=”59″]Introducing a baby to a touch screen, or a screen with a human on the other side of it appearing inside it, means we’ve reached a point in time where we, as a society, are ready and able to subtly tinker with natural human conditioning. What future modifications and advances can be thought of for this new generation and the ones after theirs? At present, research on touch screen apps and their educational impact on infant development is inconclusive yet optimistic. However, another possibility is that we begin to gradually include more and more tech milestones for future generations. Slowly but surely, we are coming ever closer to becoming a transhumanist society
Photo credit: npr.org