Like any toy, a tablet can be a device to learn as well as a cause of damage. Here’s my take.We recently asked you whether toys are good for our child. While the article did raise some eyebrows in the social media, our next question will probably see more nodding heads. The question is this: Is giving an iPad to a child a good thing?
The potential damage of an iPad
What we learned as kids was that carrots improve your eyesight while watching TV for long periods of time damages it. Actually, none of it is true. The debate about the effect of carrots has been going on for years now.
And, while watching TV may result in eye fatigue, if it would really hurt your eyesight, all millennials would be already blind. However, potential of damage is not in your eyes, it’s in your ability to focus.
In her book The Willpower Instinct, Kelly McGonigal Ph.D. explains how human brain is still in its Neanderthal state. She talks how thousands of years ago reacting to every little noise could save you (imagine a tiger hidden behind a bush). The same brain draws us to every phone notification for the same ‘what if’ reason. Especially, because it’s no more life-threatening. On the contrary, we check our phones for constant gratification.
So, now think about a little child. A toddler with an iPad playing a game. A great example is Coin master, it’s a community game but very much like any game of pokies for mobile phones. You get spins every day. You either win coins to improve your city or get hammers to attack others.
Imagine what a game like this is teaching…no, doing to a toddler’s undeveloped brain.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing mobile games just for the sake of it. There are tremendously beneficial games and apps teaching players to sing, draw, count, etc.
However, reluctantly dropping a tablet next to your child just because you are tired and need an hour of quite time is wrong and will probably come to haunt you in the future.
Maybe we will come up with ways to help kids with ADHD? Maybe our brain will adapt? I do not claim to have all the answers, but I also cannot sit still without even asking the questions first. I would love to know what are your thoughts!