A very interesting piece on the NY Times blog tells us how tablet and smartphone use may hinder the development of communication skills in children. The thing is that there’s no actual study to prove that, but rather guesswork, according to Dr. Gary Small, director of the Longevity Center at the University of California.
Dr. Small claims that the brain is sensitive to stimuli, like the iPad or smartphone screen and if people spend too much time with that technology and less time with real people, that could affect their communication skills. This means that a child playing with an iPad at kindergarten instead of other kids may have less communication skills and be less sociable.
The thing is that a kid busy with crayons at the dinner table is also not very social, so it’s not exactly the fault of tablets. Parents choose to hand over the iPads and other gadgets to the little kids in order to quiet them down, but in the long run that may affect their brains. The same problems appeared over the last decades when people started thinking it was bad to let the little ones watch too much TV.
There’s a British study showing that children who watched more than 3 hours of TV a day had higher change of conduct problems, emotional symptoms or relationship problems. And the same was said about videogames… What do you think?