On Saturday morning I looked at Sam as we were laying in bed relaxing. I was drinking a cup of coffee and enjoying a digital copy of People Magazine and she was laying across from me, in the same exact way, reading a book on her Kindle Fire. I laughed and thought to myself how incredibly different things are now from when I was young. Saturday mornings for us meant sitting down with a bowl of cereal to watch the morning cartoons, and after that was over we either spent the day playing outside with the neighborhood kids, or playing quietly inside. I loved to read even back then, but my books came from the library and I would only have 2 or three at a time. My child has an ever-growing collection of books on her Kindle as well as a bunch of apps and games.
Of course a lot of it has to do with the fact that her father and I are big technology lovers as well. We believe in investing on devices, cell phones and computers. And you will always find her dad pouring through the weekend flyers, looking at all Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples and Radio Shack ads. It's pretty fair to say that Sam is being raised by geeks, and will go on and be a major techie geek herself.
Sam has already mastered the "coffee shop" hangout. We always look for coffee shops (Starbucks) and any other Wi-Fi friendly locations, and we just hang. She already knows what to do. Get there, order your drink (apple juice and a cake pop) and turn on your device. The three of us can spend hours doing this. There are many kids that would literally die if their parents did this so often, but Sam is one of us.
As proud as I am of my little niña for being so emerged in the digital world, I don't want her to get too ahead of herself. She already talks about Facebook and Twitter and often asks me if I can post something for her. I tell her that she will be able to have her own accounts as soon as she is older. I also don't let her go online for more than an hour or two. But that is so hard, everything including our cable is available online now and we find ourselves watching TV on a phone or a tablet. It's really come to the point where we can do just about anything online, and it's hard for us to stop as well.
So it's a little hard to control the time she spends not just online, but on her device. I just try to keep a balance to it all and make sure she is not just wasting her time watching Netflix or YouTube. She has to read some books, play some of her educational games and she also has to completely disconnect and actually play with her toys and coloring materials. She has a real gift for art, and that is something her father and I really want her to pursue.
Sam has slowly graduated from borrowing my laptop and Playbook, to having her own little Acer. When we realized that was a little inconvenient for her, we replaced that with a Kindle Fire so she can take it with her on-the-go. She can maneuver her father's three tablets, his iPhone and his Blackberry as well as her Kindle...oh yes and she is expecting to have her own cell phone at the age of seven. But that remains to be seen. Of course at the end of the day, she is really a technology geek and that is all right. I am excited to see what the future holds for not just Sam but for all of the kids that are growing up in this age of digital media. Will she be a programmer, an artist, a graphic artist, a vet? Who knows...all I know is that I am excited to see how much digital media can help her in whatever she chooses in the end.
How do you feel about kids and technology?