As a work at home mom I spend countless hours using my laptop and iPad while caring for Tate. I use feedings and nap time to answer emails and write. And as a SAHM, social media is my playground. I take advantage of twitter, facebook, pinterest, and instagram to connect with friends, family, and fellow bloggers.
Sometimes I wonder what effect my constant use of tech gadgets might have on Tate. At nearly five months old, he is already reaching for the laptop keyboard and occasionally occupies himself by touching the iPad screen and watching it react. He can’t get enough of the remote control or my smart phone.
I recently read an article about the effect of technology on our kids at NPR. According to Dr. Ari Brown, the lead author of the AAP’s revised guidelines on toddlers and TV,
“The concern that we have [about technology,] is it’s distracting to the parent, so the parent is talking less to the child, there’s less parent-child conversation, which is important for language development. And it’s also distracting for the child.”
Distracted infants and toddlers are more likely to abandon an activity quickly. Experts worry about how that will affect children’s ability to learn to organize information and make decisions “when they’re not having the experience of being really focused on the activity that’s at hand,” says Brown.
I have yet to decide if he actually enjoys anything about our tech items or if he somehow senses the attention Steve and I give these devices. I once read an article about a social experiment in which a chimpanzee was raised by a human family. They said the chimp would take their wallets, not because he saw value in money, but because he realized that the wallets were important to the family members. Did I just compare Tate to a chimp? Yep, I guess I did.
Anyway, my real point is, how do you handle technology around your baby? Do you worry about long term effects?