You hardly come across a kid these days that doesn’t play with tech-driven toys

‘If it can’t swipe, click, chat or play, it’s not considered a toy by today’s kids,’ says an old-timer.

AD: Hi, I saw you having a long chat with the neighbour’s kid. What were you telling him?

BC: His parents were complaining to me that he was addicted to the computer and spent all day surfing or playing games...

AD: So what did you tell him?

BC: I came across an article according to which, kids are conversant with the use of computers and mobile phones even before they can talk… So what could I say? AD: That’s just an indication of how the future’s going to be. BC: I can’t understand how mastering Angry Birds before learning to speak can be educational ... And it’s the parents who should be blamed for allowing kids to have a free run with gizmos...

AD: Look, they’re gifting tech-driven toys because kids are pestering them for it. BC: With all the muck online, you never know what kids might stumble upon. Also, think of the health issues...

AD: But technology has its benefits too...

BC: I agree, but I’ve lost count of the number of times adults have told me about kids who stand in front of a TV or a display in a public area and try to swipe the surface with their finger... They believe that they are growing up in a world where every reflective surface is a touchscreen...

AD: But you know how it is — parents give their kids mobiles for safety reasons, and tablets to keep them occupied or entertained, so that they aren’t disturbed while driving or working.

BC: I guess the onus is on parents to guide and control...

AD: The problem is that they either overdo the supervision bit by turning into helicopter parents or indulge their kids by buying them tablets and mobile phones when they’re just five or six...

BC: A survey in the U.S. shows parents are buying iPads for their three-year-olds, so how can one blame children for turning into tech addicts?

AD: Half these parents are tech addicts themselves. BC: It’s not just parents, even tech manufacturers are keen to cash in on this techie bopper generation. A leading toymaker has come up with a baby seat that holds an iPad.

AD: In other words, a hi-tech babysitter that lets the infant watch cartoons when the parents are busy.

BC: Shouldn’t these products be banned?

AD: This is becoming a vicious circle, isn’t it? Parents buy these products because their kids pester them for it. Manufacturers cite the demand amongst young parents to gift gizmos to their kids as the reason why they come up with such devices. And as for kids, either peer pressure or parental indulgence makes them tech addicts pretty early.