Friday, June 8, 2012

Angry Birds & other iStuff

I have a smart phone. I have a smart phone that isn't quite smart enough to require internet service. I just can not justify the expense. I've read articles about all sorts of crazy apps from games like Angry Birds to an app that translates your baby's cry so you know what they need.

Playing Angry Birds on the iPad - Photo Credit: randomcuriosityAngry Birds on the iPad

Ah yes, Angry Birds. It is quite the pop culture trendy game, isn't it? I had never seen it in person until a recent vacation with friends. I found myself coaching a toddler on the angle of his shot and even <gasp> touched the screen!

Sasha never did play while we were there. There were kids and tons of toys, she never even noticed the Kindle! When we came home, we had a friend come stay with us for a week. She brought an i-something-or-other with her. Before long, my husband and the Sasha were taking turns playing Angry Birds. Sasha was hooked!

I've heard of apps that help our children learn and I've heard it said that these things (even Angry Birds) help with hand/eye coordination. I'm not really questioning those statements. I just don't think Sasha needs yet another screen in her life. She became fairly obsessed with the game and would cry if she couldn't play it (the thing had to be charged occasionally).

And that leads us to that other trend that is really behind it all... babies on phones (and tablets and readers, etc).

iphone junkie - Photo Credit: JasonTankToddler iPhone Junkie

Since we don't own any fancy app-using phones, I haven't really worried about researching the safety or effect on kids. I did, however, recently stumble upon an article that confirmed my fears:

Amid warnings from some researchers that tablets can cause developmental difficulties and problems including autism or attention deficit disorder, experts at the forum recommended not rushing to judgment.

Wait, what?! They're saying these things can cause autism?!

Its all about balance, though. All things in moderation, right? I'm glad I don't have one of these things in our home yet. It would just be too easy to let Sasha zone out on it too often.

I am not judging parents that let their children play with these things. I have no idea what activities and how much time your children spend with them. I have no idea what other things you do with your kids or what is going on in your lives. I'm just saying... be aware. Don't use electronics (of any kind) as a babysitter. I can't judge, Sasha watches too much television.

Do your kids play apps on your electronics? What apps do they play?

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