The NY Times examines how young is ‘too young’ for children to begin using technological devices. Although the article focuses on information and communication technology, I would argue that those of us in the industrialized West begin using ‘high’ technology earlier than we often realize. Light switch, anyone?
EVERYONE knows that babies crawl before they walk, and that tricycles come before two-wheelers. But at what age should children get their first cellphone, laptop or virtual persona?
These are new questions being faced by 21st-century parents, and there is no wisdom from the generations for guidance. You can’t exactly say to your teenager, “When I was a boy, I didn’t have an unlimited texting plan until I was in high school.”
Some parents eagerly provide their children with technology. “My 4-year-old has been on the Web since he could sit up,” said Samantha Morra, a mother of two from Montclair, N.J. “My 6-year-old has an iPod and wants a cellphone, although my husband and I aren’t sure who he’d call.”