Is the balance right between toddlers social interaction and technology engagement?

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Having just returned from a holiday abroad, it struck me how many parents provide technology in the form of iPads and Tablets, to entertain their toddlers.

Whilst there is a time and a place for this, such as on a flight or journey, I was surprised to see toddlers sitting at the breakfast table watching a screen whilst munching on their Rice Crispies!  I also witnessed twin 3 year old boys, leaving the dinner table wearing padded earphones, walking through the restaurant still engaged with their iPads, not looking where they were going, totally oblivious to other people and their surroundings.

The world has changed and technology now plays a huge part in all of our day to day lives. There is a balance for us all between actual social interaction and technology engagement.

Do you have a concern that the younger generation of today, particularly toddlers, are in danger of missing out on actual development of relationships and world awareness due to the distractions of technology?  Daydreaming is your brain at its most productive … are young children given enough time to daydream or are they becoming overloaded with technology? If you are a grandparent, do you have to hold back your views or are you able to express what you think to your offspring?  Is technology in danger of damaging our toddlers social development or enhancing their learning?

What do you think?

Is the balance right between social interaction and technology engagement with todays toddlers?

194 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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1st Aug 2015
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I think the mobile phone and ipads etc are fantastic. I feel dismayed when I see babies in pushchairs,facing away from their parents.The adults,texting.They get pushed into shops and cafe's that the mother would be reluctant to go in,on her own.The baby needs to see the parents expressions and greetings, to other people and can only do that by learning from the parents faces.
I know some parents that use these devices for letting the toddlers watch films all day.Rarely speaking to them.
4th Jul 2015
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i see too many women, on their phones ignoring whats going on with their children, the children are emulating this behaviour.
19th Jun 2015
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Technology is part of our evolution. So long as these devices aren't used as 'baby sitters' I don't think they are such a bad thing. Children deserve their parents time and attention; it's the parents always having their mobile or tablet in their hand that causes me most concern; especially when they are not engaging with their children!
19th Jun 2015
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Drrrr! don't understand the question
Lorraine S Dunn
15th Jun 2015
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As far as I am aware toddlers aren't overly influenced by technology yet. I have a baby granddaughter that attends nursery twice a week and no tv's or computers are allowed.

However her dad is like most young men heavily into hightech gaming and I know she will witness this in the future but so long as she is read and sang to daily like most of us Silversurfers were she'll be fine. Her parents are aware that sitting a child infront of a tv or computer to entertain her is not a good thing I am sure she will have a healthy imagination.

Albert Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge but I also think he wouldn't stop the progression of technology in a childs life either.
10th Jun 2015
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I think it's all down to balance. Kids are going to have to use this technology throughout there lives, from education to work. They're at an advantage if they are well versed with technology.

On the flip side, they're also at an advantage if they have good social skills. We're a social species, after all, and social education starts in the family unit. I would be upset to see my grand kids, or kids for that matter, pull out an iPad at the dinner table - or in any social environment - if they were using it to escape conversation or interaction.

Social skills are important, as are skills with technology, and I think there is a time and a place to indulge in both!
10th Jun 2015
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I agree with Pete H, it's so important to teach children how to converse and how to behave. It doesn't do them any harm to have some time which is designated 'technology-free'. I hate it when I'm out with friends and all the teenagers and kids are on their phones and iPads - they may as well not be there! I understand that some parents use technology as a way to have a quiet time and not to disturb others, but why do people have children if not to be a family and not just a bunch of unconnected individuals?
Pete H
10th Jun 2015
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I think this is not just an issue for toddlers but for us all. The ever present and addictive lure of the smartphone and tablet is having a major impact on all our lives not just toddlers.

Dinner tables and other social occasions should be tablet and smartphone free to encourage conversation and 'normal' human interaction. How are toddlers supposed to learn how to converse and interact with others if they spend their whole life flicking and tapping their tablets and phones - especially if their parents are doing the same.
10th Jun 2015
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Pete H ...but maybe that's the way humans are evolving we are talking and communicating via our devices and in a couple of centuries we will just use them to communicate with each other
Pete H
16th Jun 2015
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Hopefully I'll be gone by the time that woeful scenario happens!!
10th Jun 2015
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It's a tough one, as it really depends on what and where the interaction is. Mobile screens are great if they are being used to educate, however being used as a TV over dinner, breakfast any meal is just rude and the wonderful sights they might miss whilst staring at a screen is a worry.

At this rate the next generation will have very little reason for leaving the house! I will submit that growing my parents would do whatever they could to keep us entertained during moments of any trip that was more to their delight. This however did involve far more creativity for both both parent and child than simply slipping a screen in front of them.

We run the risk of becoming ever more lazy and fatter still, with obesity already on the rise!
Jo Kingham
10th Jun 2015
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Everything has it's place. I used to use ipads and computer games to keep my little ones quiet at the dinner table whilst on holiday for example or on a plane. They are probably used a bit frequently these days
10th Jun 2015
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My sons are in their 20s now but when they were young they were glued to play stations and it never did them any harm. The worlds moving on. Cavemen communicated by grunting and got their kicks out of chewing bones. This is 2015 and Kids communicate via social networks and the will keep growing. It wont surprise me if in 100 years we all have chips in our brain permanently tapping into the internet. I see a lot of kids on ipads but think thats the way the world is going and you can either be like King Canute and try and stop it or just get washed away

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