Too Much Information

ID-100172971So I started my quest of researching the impact of digital devices on toddlers. My original fear that parents were not holding their children while reading to them, not interacting with child and book seems to be on many minds. And although there has been more of a boom in apps for toddlers on smart phones recently, digital readers and devices have been around for years. (I remember when my daughter wanted Teddy Ruxpin, that talking bear.)

I was sure I would find some bonafide research about the impact of language development and social skills in toddlers who have digital interaction rather than human interaction.

Welcome to the information age. A google search led me to a multitude of sites. HOWEVER, these were blogs, opinions, and, by far and large, SALES pitches for plugging your kid into an e-reader or a phone app. Scientific studies? I finally found a few. But read the fine print. They were sponsored by, of course, none other than the companies producing the digital materials.

Yep. I found some others who think like me. And parents contacted me to tell me stories of how they resisted plugging kids into devices. Just as my peer group resisted hand held video games and endless television. And after a long search I even found a couple of university studies, with vague results.

I’m not done searching. I’m not done weeding through the endless mountains of information available at our finger tips. But if anyone out there can steer me on a more direct path? Please share.



Image provided by thanks to Jomphong.


  1. Sadly, I think the parents who listen to expert advice are probably already very consientious of doing the best things. Back when I was leading social skills groups for the “emotionally disturbed” special education classes I found that these students spent five to eight hours a DAY on video games. By the time they were nine or ten they would get up in the middle of the night and play while parents slept. I couldn’t help but think that their significant lack of social skills had some sort of a link with these excessive hours “plugged in.”

  2. I wonder, though, how many parents will change their behavior due to studies. Well, if we headline the story with enough sensationalism, we might be able to change a few and many fanatics about others (vaccination dangers). It’s the smart parent who would heed the studies but they are already smart enough to recognize the disadvantages of “plugging your kid in”. Boy, that phrase brings many a cartoon to mind! Keep us up to date when you find some bonafide studies.

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