At What Age Should Kids Be Exposed to Technology? [We Ask You]

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Those of us over a certain age will likely have been shocked at least once over the past few years from seeing someone very young using technology that didn’t even exist when we were their age. It’s surely a startling sight to see a 6-year-old using a computer, or a 10-year-old tapping away on a smartphone. Or perhaps I’m just old and liable to being startled easily.

Seeing kids using cutting-edge technology is certainly a relatively recent development. But I guess it isn’t a surprising one. After all, the technology exists, parents own it and (over)use it, and so kids are likely to want to follow suit prematurely. Should this be something we embrace? Or should kids be encouraged to leave technology alone until they’re old enough to fully embrace it?

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, At What Age Should Kids Be Exposed To Technology? We’re using “technology” as a catch-all term, but we’re really talking about new technology. Television sets have been around for a long time, so they don’t count. But smartphones and tablets are relatively new innovations, so seeing young children using them as though they’ve been around for forever is more surprising.

How young is too young for a child to be handed a smartphone? Would you let your child use a laptop or desktop computer? If so, are they trusted to go online without supervision or is their use heavily guarded to ensure the seedier parts of the Internet are avoided?

Do you encourage your children to play outside or are you happy for them to stay in and play video games all day? If so, do you worry about them playing online and meeting unsavory individuals?

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Tell us your story, or recount a story from a family member of friend. If you don’t have a story to tell, just tell us at what age you think kids should be exposed to technology. If indeed you think there even should be a minimum age limit.

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, and the respect of other readers. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Paul Inkles

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