In short, no and here is why
Firstly let me just say that you are probably going to 100% agree with me or 100% disagree with me. There is no question that kids getting out in the fresh air and playing with real people is good for them, no question. However is playing on their tablet really bad, is it going to turn them into mindless zombies, far from it.
Lets look at some points as to why technology and specifically tablets can be good for children.
Education — Young kids instinctively know how to use them, through tactile interactions kids as young as 18 months can use one. There are loads of education apps available for all ages. Children will need to be fully versed in tablets before school age moving forward.
Social Interaction — Some children develop communication issues in early life and through technology are better able to express themselves using painting apps, video calling with family and more. Not everyone is created equal and some kids find technology helps them.
Play — Apart from all the junk games on various app stores tablets can allow kids play games and even interact with other kids safely from their own home. Especially useful when it’s a wet day and the child needs a bit more stimulation than playing with some cars or board games.
Moderation — This is key, too much of anything is bad for you however I can tell you that my children know more about the world, how it works and the universe than I ever did at their age. Help them, guide them and limit them.
Some other things to consider why kids using tablets is not really an issue and these are reasons most adults forget.
Up to 1979 — Your parents worried about you sitting in your room reading those terrible comic books
In the 1980’s — Your parents worried about you watching that infernal television box all day
In the 1990’s — Your parents worried about you playing on your Sega all day.
Is it really any different today, no, your children will turn out just fine, whether they watch their tablets too much or play outside. Tomorrow’s children need technology, nothing in post 2025 is going to work without some level of advanced understanding of technology, social media and how our life interacts with it all.
Even as a parent now, you no doubt struggle to understand or know what your child is doing on their tablet or phone, this is more because you probably don’t understand how to use a smartphone or tablet than anything else.
Feel free to comment below and let me know your thoughts.
Are tablets really bad for children was originally published in Ireland’s Technology Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.