Thursday, 30 May 2013

Thursdays Thing I Hate: I-Kids

Now before I start this rant, don't get me wrong - as the recent proud owner of an I-Phone I am very much an Apple Convert and have forever turned my back on Blackberry...I'm not against technology at all, infact I am rather surgically attached to my own i-phone.

But my rant this week isn't about adults - it's about kids with i-phones, i-pads, etc etc.

I realise that children want to emulate their parents and so, inevitably, if they see their Mums & Dads playing on phones and tablets etc then they're going to want one too. 

But that's what TOY mobile phones and leap-pads etc were invented for!!!

Your 3 year old child does NOT need an actual Iphone!!!
It really irritates me when I see young children asking for iphones for Christmas - there is plenty of time for all of that when they're older, but while they're children...let them actually BE children!! 

Call me old fashioned if you like but the Christmas lists of 5 year olds should be filled with toy cars and dolls prams, and certainly nothing manufactured by Apple!

Last week I went out to a restaurant with some friends, and whilst waiting to be seated I saw a family sitting together having their meal - this should have been a lovely sight. There was a Mum, Dad, boy of about 15, boy of about 8 and girl of about 3.

But no instead of seeing the family talking about their day together, sharing a joke and laughing together, enjoying their evening out - what I actually saw was:

*The Mother eating with one hand, Kindle in the other hand - engrossed in reading something
*The Father completely ignoring his dinner and barking down his mobile phone at somebody
*The teenage son playing on a handheld computer game
*The middle child typing away on an Ipad
and - possibly most disturbingly of all - the little girl of about 3, holding an ipod touch and tapping away at the screen - seeming to know exactly what she was doing.

Now I might have just assumed the girl had been passed her Mums ipod to keep her occupied while everybody else was "busy", but the fact that this ipod had a Peppa Pig case on it and the skill with which she used it made me quite sure it did actually belong to her!

I find this so sad - these children were sitting with their parents and siblings but clearly far more interested in the piece of technology in their hands, each of them might as well have been dining completely alone as for the duration of their meal I didn't see them speak to each other once. Even when they finished their meal and left, they all carried on looking at their various hand held devices as they walked out - they didn't look up at all!

I understand that children might ASK for things like ipods and iphones - and yes, once they start getting to 9 or 10 it may be harder to reason with them and you may have to start thinking about when you're going to give in to their requests - but while they're 4, 5, 6 years old you can (and, in my opinion, SHOULD!) say NO!

Preserve their childhood for as long as possible! They have the rest of their lives to be grown ups! 

And at the end of the day, what does a pre-schooler need a sodding phone for anyway?!!!!! Who are they ever going to call?!!!

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