Smartphones: Developing Problem or Baby Toy?
Since the iPhone debuted in 2007, smartphones have become a household item. Combining the functionality of a laptop, a PDA, a phone, and a web device into a pocket-sized mobile device was inevitable, if not infinitely handy. But a curious development of the adoption of this technology has some parents raising eyebrows: The use of smartphones by children as young as six months old. The smartphones are bright and colorful, with their LCD screens and buttons, and attractive to children. Where parents used to give their children a rattle or blocks, they are increasingly just handing them their smartphone. Or, they are getting smartphones just for the children. Software developers have taken note of this, and baby applications (baby apps) are a growing market. The baby apps react to the smartphone’s touchscreen technology, and are simple enough to entertain the smallest children.
Expensive Baby Rattlers
The smartphones like the iPhone have motion sensors detect when the phone is shaken or tilted. This is such a simple form of input that baby apps have been written for it. The app turns the smartphone into an electronic rattler that giggles, rattles, or gives off the sounds of jingle bells when the baby shakes the phone. The wild colors that the apps give off when the smartphone is shaken seem to have a hypnotic effect on children, holding the attention of the youngest infants. Parents have been using this as a distraction, but they are starting to worry when they notice the seemingly-addictive nature of their young child’s relationship with the smartphone. But, parents who have their child’s phone on their plan can also put the phone into the baby’s crib, call the phone, and listen to the child on speakerphone, turning the phone into a mobile baby monitor. So, the use of smartphones by infants can have positive benefits as well.