Technology and Children… When is it Too Young?

Recently, Big Island blogger Tiffany Edwards Hunt posted a picture of her baby next to her laptop that stirred up a few emotional comments regarding the health of children.

Other people have recently commented that I shouldn’t place pictures of children on my blog. I guess I’ll push a few buttons here on this post.
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When I was young, I remember going up to the local college and playing with the punch card machines and the huge computer systems when I was about 6-7 years old.

I continued playing in those same college computer labs for about 5 years while I lived next to the college. I remember the old apple [II] systems where I could spend hours playing loadrunner on them.

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As I got older, I spent hours at the local arcades spending money on video games. If there was a video game to be found as I was growing up… I would find it. Whether it was on a ferry, a restaurant, a bowling alley or a corner store… I knew where all the video games were in town.

Now a days, we have home computers and video game consuls that you can play games at home. For some reason, I’ve never been much of a video game player… now that they are so easily available. However, I know many people that can’t get away from them.

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When my son turned three, I bought him his first “Computer”. It’s a Vtech computer that cost about $40.00 bucks and while he was only 3 and didn’t understand how to use it that much… he enjoyed playing with it. Now he plays with it whenever he wants and knows exactly what he’s doing.

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When he turned 3 and a half at Christmas time… We bought him a Vtech gaming consul. He loves this and would prefer to play the educational games that we purchased for him rather then watch TV.

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This past Christmas, his grandma bought him a Vtech Camera which he uses all the time. This camera is not only a “Digital Camera” that can hold 1200 pictures with a memory card, it can also make movies and play childrens games.

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You will often see him tagging along with me taking pictures of the same things I’m taking.

I myself didn’t even have a digital camera until about 7-8 years ago, and I know many people that still just feel comfortable wasting money and the environment with disposable cameras… but that’s a whole different story.

At what age is technology and computing too young for children?

Let my 4 year old son tell you a little bit about dismantling a computer and then you decide:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DRGfDlOje0&hl=en&fs=1]

6 Responses

  1. PS to my response

    I would love to see some of the pictures from our young computer wiz. It would be interesting to see the world from his perspective.

  2. Too young? Too old?

    As my 8-year old always likes to remind me “Age is just a number, Dad!”

  3. As long as our little darling is ALSO outside playing, exploring, getting exercise. Too many young children are now having weight problems because they are glued to their technologies and not getting out to burn calories.

    Of course as tiny as our sweetheart is, that won’t be a problem.

    Love, Gramma

  4. My father worked for IBM for 25 years, so I grew up with computers in the house. All.over.the.house. So I saw the evolution of computers from floppy disks to 3.5 to CD Roms to flash drives. First hand. I feel really tech-illiterate because I stopped keeping up with the programming languages, hardware, software, wah wah wah. (Does anyone even use Visual Basic anymoer??)

    I wouldn’t think there is an age that is too young. There could definitely be an age that is too old, but then again, Grandma Nan breaks that rule…

  5. Glad to see you are teaching him not only to use technology, but how to take it apart as well. Keep at it and he should not only be able to dismantle a computer but put it back together as well. These things we rely on break, and the skills needed to fix them are increasingly valuable.

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