The first time you showed it to him, the second time too. But on the third time, the tablet is already firmly in your child's small hands, hands that seem made to click, touch, move. It's the tablet-generation, and it's getting younger and younger.
According to data from a 2022 research published in America (sample: 1.463 parents of children under 8), children know perfectly well how to operate a tablet to find content they like. In particular, 38% of the sample knows how to use smartphones and tablets. The percentage is identical to that of the same research two years earlier. Key detail: in 2022 it referred to children under the age of 8, now to during 2!
Data from 2022
If we turn instead to the 2022 data, relative to 2022, according to a research by ofcom.org.uk (which annually produces statistics on the technological use by children, 50% of 10-year-olds own a smartphone and the use of voice assistants in the age group 5-15 doubled in one year.
More and more digital natives
Digital natives are increasing and the first approach with new technologies takes place at an ever lower age, already in the first three years of life.
«We are all more and more 'networked families', that is, members of families who live and share their lives on social networks: photos, videos, comments, anniversaries. We all always have a mobile phone or tablet in hand. The little ones immediately learn this behavior of ours »¸ he explains Piermarco Aroldi, professor of Media and Cultures of Childhood at the Catholic University of our city.
(READ ALSO: TOUCH-SCREEN GENERATION)
Increase parental control, parental control over access to technology
Europe has been studying the phenomenon for some time in some countries of the Union (including the country). As the English professor explains Leslie Haddon, among the curators of the major research project "Eukids on line" which aims to map the behavior of minors in relation to new technologies, the first important changes are beginning to emerge: "Parents are learning that mediation on the use of new media is needed. 85% work for a restrictive mediation, for example on the time or on the contents to be enjoyed ». It is the so-called 'parental control', parental control over access to tablets, smartphones, computers and TVs.
Regulate and stimulate: the real educational challenge for parents
«The educational challenge, from when children are small, is complex: on the one hand it is necessary to regulate, on the other hand the correct use of these tools, which must not be demonized, must also be stimulated. We do not forget the potential of playful learning through apps, games or videos that stimulate children: these are not passive but interactive visions. The space of the screen can constitute a new environment in which to have experiences that open up to the discovery of the world », he comments Piercesare Rivoltella, teacher of Didactics and expert in new media.
(READ ALSO: TECHNOLOGY AND CHILDREN, A GUIDE TO HAPPY USE)
The Alpha generation
But who is the Alpha Generation? At the age of 3, they eliminate notifications on the display with a wave of the hand, learn to type with the keyboard rather than with a pencil, produce music videos with their mobile phones and are often reliable sources of technological information for parents: born after 2022, the children of the so-called Alpha generation they are the first to consider technology not only as a means, but as an integral and inseparable part of existence.
Children never alone in front of the tablet
«It is evident that everything touching has a charm, a seductive magic, skilled in capturing children. We can no longer think of denying it to them: it belongs to their DNA - he explains Federico Tonioni, psychiatrist and head of the Internet Addiction clinic at the Gemelli Hospital in the city -. We have to work on one thing: participation.
Fortunately, tablets and smartphones are different from TV: they provide for an active involvement of the small user. So let's not leave children alone with these tools. In addition to regulating the 'time' of use, let's focus on how: we actively participate in their digital activities, we dedicate time to this activity of theirs. We share virtual space with our children, right from the first approaches».
The rights of children born in the digital age
In this regard, the Erickson Study Center has produced a video, "The rights of the digital native", created by Dr. Maria Maura with the patronage of the Guarantor Authority for Childhood and Adolescence.
Designed and performed by a child, completely assembled with a tablet, here is the video decalogue of the rights of children born and raised in the digital age:
THE STORY FROM MAMMENELLARETE - CHILDREN AND TECHNOLOGY
Forcing myself, a little, as a general rule, I insisted that with the arrival of the little girl, there was a discipline in the use of TV. And she too will certainly have her approach with technological means such as computers, but they will be the right didactic support, then play, etc. But all at her time! Better to discover the colors of spring by chasing soap bubbles in a meadow. Every age has its game at stake.
Read the story: children and technology, our choice
To learn more
- Children and technology
- Children and technology: tips for the correct use of the smartphone
- Children and digital devices
- What is parental control
- How to educate children on the smartphone
- The Alpha generation
- How to protect children who surf the internet
- Touch screen generation
- Educating children to listen and pay attention
- children and technology
- 1-2 children years