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Lately it seems to me like our family (including Charlie) has been out-paced by almost everyone else I meet in terms of electronics. And I'm not sure how I feel about it. To be honest with you, I'm not really a huge fan of cell phone culture. It seems like everyone I know has these gigantic, fancy smartphones that can do a million different things, but that mostly what everyone uses them for is to play games. Where I encounter them most is actually at school, because all of our students have these phones, and they are all addicted to them and glued to them all the time. We've made a big deal about how cell phones are never allowed to be used during school hours, and how if we ever see one out we will confiscate it and not return it for a month. We've also confiscated lots of phones and kept them. Still, in spite of how strict we are, the kids seem to have them out every time they think our backs are turned. It's like they literally can't stop. It's a huge distraction, and it drives me insane. Is that way last year in Chengdu as well, and in Kuwait before that (though not as extreme when we were in Kuwait, probably because phones weren't as 'smart' back then!)
Anyway, today we went over to the home of one of our students, and her young cousin was there who is a few months younger than Charlie. This little girl, who is not quite three yet, was already totally and completely adept at using her mom's cell phone. She had it out and was using it to take pictures of us, then scrolling through them like a pro. Then she used it to load up some game that she started playing by moving her fingers around on the screen. I was amazed. Charlie can't do anything close to that yet. For one, he doesn't have the concentration. I also don't think he has the fine motor skills. (We've been trying to teach him how to use the mouse on our computer, and he hasn't been able to figure it out). But also, he's never tried to do anything like that, because we don't have a smartphone! He's never had a chance to practice, and to be honest I'm glad that he hasn't.
I don't know, but for some reason it seems weird to me to see a really young kid so interested in electronics and able to use them so well. I don't want Charlie to be addicted to a cell phone, or to anything else like that, quite yet. I don't want him EVER to be addicted to one, actually. I don't want him to end up like our students are! But for the time being, I just want him to be a normal kid. I want him to prefer playing outside, and playing pretend with his toys, over playing games on a screen.
Am I weird for thinking like this? It just seemed to me like Charlie was a lot less 'worldly,' almost, than this other girl was. I kind of felt embarrassed for him almost, because he was just pushing his toy cars around on the floor while this girl was playing with her fancy electronics, like she had no interest in those ordinary toys. It was like Charlie was more innocent or naive or something than she was. And then I worry that when he gets to school he'll be an outcast or something, if he doesn't have the same interests that the other kids do. But maybe I'm reading too much into it.
Last edited by Quantum_Leap; March 3rd, 2012 at 06:45 AM.
Pretty much want to say ditto. We rarely let Nicholas touch our phones, he doesn't know how to play any games, nor have we really tried, other than this toy computers he has, and he isn't even all that interested in those. I agree about wanting him to play with toys, outside, etc,.... and I agree that I wonder how that will play out when he goes to school. I hate the idea of all of the kids having phones, etc. Right there with you, and wondering how he will feel compared to the ones that use electronics all of the time.
I guess I'm the opposite....My kids would rather play outside than anything....but their mommy likes her electronic gadgets so they are exposed to them a LOT.....
they both know how to play games on our phones and B takes pictures with my phone all the time (I dunno if Levi knows how or not....he's never tried) they also like to use my kindle fire....for games or kids books.....
they spend plenty of time playing outside...and playing other imaginative games....I have no problem with them using the electronics too tho....People were amazed at how well Levi could operate an iphone around his 2nd birthday. I dont find it weird tho......I use my phone ALL the time....but I dont play games...(the kids do occasionally....like in waiting rooms....long car drives....not really at home much tho)
I LOVE my smart phone...it's like my life is all organized and packaged up where I can carry it in my pocket....it has my recipes/shopping list, planner/organizer, alot of things I use for my business......all things i COULD do on paper if I WANTED to...but I prefer the convience of having it all in one place and always with me....
I think that as long as there is balance and plenty of active and imaginative play there is not anything wrong with them using the electronic gadgets. The public schools here use different gadgets (ipads, laptops, educational electronic games) alot anyway....
but like I said...I dont think they are anywhere near "addicted" they'd rather play outside or play with toys than the phones/gadgets. But they are a LIFESAVER when we are somewhere I have to be able to keep them occupied for awhile and they cant get rowdy
My kids are pretty good too. I definitely limit their time, I want them out and active and playing like normal kids should, but Matt plays a lot of video games and we've gotten educational ones for them and they like to play with their daddy. They're better at console games than I am.
And they REALLY picked up the iphone quickly. I was surprised at how fast they picked it up.
I think it's up to the parents though. I make sure my kids aren't playing with them ALL THE TIME, that they do other things too. It's all about moderation. If the parents use them as babysitters...well...it's as bad as just putting your kid in front of anything else and ignoring them for hours on end, kwim?
edited to add: I'd be really upset to hear of my kids using their phones during class though. I don't plan on allowing that.
I don't have a cool phone. I have a no frills pay as you go type. It doesn't even take pictures. Everyone tells me how much I'd love an iphone. I'm sure I would.
My pet peeve is watching all the parents addicted to them and ignoring their kids completely. I hardly ever have conversations with new moms at the playground because they're either there with a friend already or else they're staring at a gadget.
My husband is addicted to his smart phone, and all of his other technology, including his computer, tablet, XBOX 360, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, etc. I drives me crazy that he is glued to a screen 24/7 and never gives me or our daughter his undivided attention. My cell phone does have a camera and a texting keyboard, but it does not have internet or a touch screen. I just use it to make phone calls, send text messages, and take pictures of Melody. She does not know how to use our cell phones, or play video games, or even use the TV remote to select a show on Netflix (we don't have cable). I think that playing video games is fine if you're in the car (as long as it doesn't make them carsick) or if you're stuck in a waiting room like at the doctor or the dentist, but it's unnecessary at home, and I would never be ok with Melody using her cell phone during class at school. I would much rather have Melody use her imagination and play pretend with her toys, or go outside and get some exercise. I don't want her to be an outcast or fall behind when she starts kindergarten, but that is still two years away; she still has plenty of time to learn how to use technology. In the meantime, I want her to stay "innocent" as long as possible.