Kids now can use a computer mouse before they can tie their shoes, literally. AVG has been conducting research into the challenges of growing up in the digital age and have come to some interesting, though perhaps not entirely shocking, conclusions.
AVG polled 2,200 mothers, all had internet access and all were parenting children between the ages of 2-5-years. The mothers were asked to rank a set of computer skills and a set of ‘traditional’ life skills according to when their child gained the ability to perform the task.
They discovered that 69% of children between 2-5-years are using computers in some capacity. These children can operate a computer mouse but only 11% can tie their shoes. They can understand and play computer games (58%) but only 20% of them know how to swim and 52% of them can ride a bike.
The research shows, quite clearly, that children are picking up computer skills sooner than they are picking up, so called, real-world skills.
First of all, I’m not sure how bike riding is more of a ‘real-world’ skill than being able to use a computer. Life today revolves around technology and it only makes sense that children would embrace it.
Secondly, yes children are picking up some impressive tech skills, but this isn’t necessarily delaying their mastery of other abilities. I was probably 4 before I could tie my shoes, I was 5 or 6 before I figured out how to ride a bike and I’m currently 34 and still haven’t mastered swimming. For many children, technology presents a new set of skills which they will learn in concert with their achievements in more traditional rites of passage.
That being said, this early exposure to technology means early exposure to the internet and the outside influences it brings with it, into our homes. This is an obstacle course we didn’t have to navigate as children and we need to be vigilant in helping our children use the internet safely and understand the dangers that are inherent to the anonymous interactions that take place there.
We were taught to be street smart. Our children will have to be both street smart and cyber smart. – Jen R, Staff Writer
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