The Touch-Screen Generation

1. Rosin discusses the effect on toddlers of their increasingly frequent use of digital technology.

2. Rosin argues that technology in itself is not damaging to toddlers and can, indeed help educate them.

3. Interesting quotations:

  • “Most of them were disappointingly ‘instructive,’ he found-‘drag the butterfly into the net, that sort of thing. They were missing creativity and imagination.” This seems to imply that explicitly instructive educational materials take a dive in efficacy when they lack creativity and imagination.
  • “[Children’s] hands are a natural extension of their thoughts.” This connection is unintuitive; hands and other extremities are commonly ignored as extensions of the mind.

4. Confusing quotations:

  • “In her excellent book Screen Time, the journalist Lisa Guernsey lays out a useful framework – what she calls the three C’s – for thinking about media consumption: content, context, and your child.” I take issue with this alliterative formulation. First, why is “child” last? The whole point of the framework is to accommodate your child, yet it is suffixed as almost a side note to her framework. Second, why is “child” in the phrase at all? If, again, the whole point of the framework is to accommodate the child, it seems as though its inclusion adds no useful content in the context of the phrase (see what I did there?). Perhaps she meant to refer to factors specific to the individual child. Granted, this does not begin with C. Then again, neither does “your.”
  • “[(Gideon wrongly chose Elmo)] As it happens, Gideon was not in the majority.” This seems rather to undermine her previous paragraph recounting the scene, as the story does little to support the argument she proceeds to make.

5. Related article: Balancing benefits, harm of too much screen time (utsandiego.com) Miller also discusses the effect of technology on toddlers, but he takes a view on the opposite end of the spectrum: parents ought to institute technology as an exception, not a rule.

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One thought on “The Touch-Screen Generation

  1. You’re right: the Guernsey quotation would be less troubling if it presented a framework for thinking about your child and media: context, content, and consumption.

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