I swear I wouldn’t have believed it if I had not just witnessed it with my own eyes. My 2 1/2 yr old just dialed my mother and texted his father on his own through Siri on my iPhone. He not only intentionally performed both acts, but he also found himself getting frustrated with Siri the same way I do when she didn’t comply with his request! I can only assume he’s learned how to do this from watching both his parents use Siri at some point over the past few months. Kids are full of surprises and parenthood is full of challenges, surprises and adventures. What I wasn’t prepared for is my technologically inclined toddler. I was worried about Tempera paint stains on the carpet, playdoh in my sinks and pacifiers hidden in my shoes. I wasn’t thinking about the little phone, tablet and computer hacker I’ve given birth to.
Yes it’s definitely a sign of the times. We are raising children in the age of social media & news travelling at the speed of sound landing at everyone’s fingertips. Without your knowledge or consent, you’re toddler like mine is proficient at navigating through Facebook. Although you haven’t taught him how, he is using tools to help him call his Nana when he discovers something new on Sesame Street. This is just where we are. Where as I am pushing for flipping pages through our favorite book and tracing letters vs. typing them. I must concede a bit to the fact that my son has given me lessons on how to use my iPad. So now starts the balancing act. Bring in the basics, slow it down a bit while still interweaving the fast paced age of twitter & education apps. Some people feel like hand written letters, taking pictures with film & playing records are a waste of time because the digital age is swallowing us up whole and there is no place for these archaic items. I beg to differ. How can you get to where you are going if you don’t know where you come from? How can you appreciate what you have if you don’t know where it comes from. I remember being appalled at the fact that some students in film school didn’t know that Bins in Final Cut Pro comes from the fact that back in the day film actually use to hang in bins organized in chronological order while editing. Most of the students had never even cut on film simply because people feel that it’s not necessary to teach because we edit digitally now and film is pretty much non-existent. But where is the respect for the craft. Where is the basic history lesson? It actually made me a little sad for these kids who only understand one element of filmmaking. In order to compete successfully in the Global arena, shouldn’t we start creating more well-rounded competitors? It’s up to those of us that remember making real mixtapes with our boom boxes, developing film in the one hour photo at Thrifty’s and using skateboards to get to school and not just for YouTube fame to bridge the gap between analog and digital!!!
Well I don’t know about you, but my little iPhone hacking toddler will be handwriting and drawing a letter to his Nana & Paw Paw this evening after he finishes his Super Why reading app game on the iPad.