I guess I’m one of those moms who think too much about, well I guess a lot of things. By nature, we moms are worriers, but my friends I have elevated it into a true art form! Toxins in cleaning supplies, chlorine-free diapers, fragrance and chemical free lotions and shampoos, organic produce, organic meats, organic milk, (okay pretty much organic anything), purified water—you get the idea here, the list is endless. I think about these things in regard to myself also, so with Kysen, it is almost to the point of obsession now! It’s becoming a pain because I actually try to calculate how many toxins he’s exposed to while eating a Chicken McNugget!
I should also say that throw a reasonable conspiracy theory my way and I’ll pretty much run with it. I am skeptical by nature and, hey, asking questions and questioning authority is a good thing to me! So here we come to my question to all you mommies other there today:
IS IT SAFE TO LET YOUR BABY/TODDLER/KID PLAY WITH YOUR SMARTPHONE?
So here’s my take: NO. Does Kysen play with my iPhone4? YES. Hypocrite: um, I’m thinking YES! Reason: sometimes I’m a lazy mom (okay, I admit it). I figure by taking the opportunity to write out all the reasons I think letting our kids play with our phones is BAD that it will make me REALLY think about what I’m doing the next time I hand Kysen my iPhone while trying to eat my veggie burrito bowl from Chipotle!
Photo credit: Noah’sDad
I’m sure by now, most of us have seen the egg-frying videos on YouTube, where 2 or 4 friends call each others’ phones at the same time and can literally cook an egg. Now, even though I loved Science lab in high school I’m not going to go out and recreate this experiment just to prove my point, but there might be a very good reason why people should always use earphones when talking on their cell phones (like, cooking your brain cells maybe–this is your brain on mobile, any questions?). And now that we have phones with more and more capabilities there a lot more waves and signals and just plain freaky-geeky things going on there! And I think we can all agree here that technology is not always a “safe” thing (I’m thinking nuclear energy on this one). So, if my iPhone can cook an egg, is it really good for my toddler to be using? I think not.
Now granted most of our kids are not holding six-hour conversations with their three-year-old play pal from Gymboree, but even holding and touching such devices can’t be good for them. This is all eerily reminiscent of the whole smoking fad of our grandparent’s generation. If you’re a MAD MEN fan like me you can’t help but notice how back then everyone smoked and everyone thought it was fun, social, safe, and healthy for you even (luckily we’re not that gullible these days, we can already surmise something’s not right)! I can’t help but envision a time twenty years from now where class action lawsuits are being filed against T Mobile, Verizon and AT & T because we all are dying off from brain cancer. And our kids will have to sign waivers before they can take home their mobile device from Best buy. So lesson here: just because everyone is using them and nothing is wrong NOW doesn’t mean using cellular devices is safe.
But that’s just my point of view on the matter. Now to my confession about being a lazy mommy and letting my son partake of something I know he shouldn’t: there are times during my day of stay-at-home-momminess that I need something to occupy my little guy while I get a chance to hmmm, let’s see: brush my teeth maybe!!! Usually the TV will suffice but lets say on a very lazy mommy day that I’ve breezed though my 2 hour TV time allotment (okay, I admit sometimes it’s 3 hours). When Kysen gets hold of my phone he KNOWS it’s something special because I’m always on it: either planning dinner with daddy or taking pictures of him incessantly, or Googling the local library’s story time — maybe cause mommy is on her phone a lot it makes it more attractive to him. Something I really need to consider and alter my behavior on. No wonder when Kysen has my phone he relishes the power it wields! He has come close to cracking my passcode on several occasions and I think made an emergency call to Uzbekistan once, lol!
I’ve tried to justify his iPhone use by buying a few educational apps, you know ABC flashcards and counting games. He loves them. And when I really want to justify letting him use the phone I say to myself this little justification, “He is learning to use technology and we are living in an ever-increasing technological world” (i.e. “I’m preparing him with skills for the future!”). But I need to face facts here, I was born in the “pilgrim days” where we had to rewind our video tapes on our VCRs and when I was in high school my translucent beeper was the epitome of cool and important! The fact is that I have adjusted just fine to the rapid pace of technological advances and I didn’t have to be exposed to potentially harmful devices when I was too young to decide to take the risk myself. Okay, if I haven’t officially scared myself straight from letting my little one play on my iPhone you have my permission to snatch my iPhone out of his little chubby hands at the park and sell that baby on eBay!
Anyway, enough about what I think, do you think it’s okay to let your kids play with your smartphone? Do you have any kids only apps on your phone right now?