Growing up in the 80’s, on the tail end of Gen X, my friends and I were on the cusp of a shift from an analog to digital childhood. I didn’t use a typewriter for a school paper until high school, and had a pager (!!!) in college. There was still a huge emphasis on research at the library and for what it’s worth, playing and learning in a tactile way (OK, yes, I had an NES, but that was IT).
Fast forward 30+ years, and already I can see C learning in a different (and sometimes scary) way. For instance, we recently had to shut off the power in the house, and broke out the old-school corded phone so our landline would work. C says “Vacation phone!”, because there was also a corded phone on the night stand in our hotel room. My husband and I looked at each other and both realized – wow, C doesn’t know about nor had he ever seen a corded phone before. This simple moment made me realize how different his childhood will be. For instance, I didn’t hesitate giving C my old iPhone to use as an iPod touch when my wireless contract was up. We found tons of great learning apps, and I feel that he’s progressing well for his age.
As long as the kiddo still wants to play outside, and learn outside of a screen (however small), I think he’ll be OK. I’ll have to show him a VCR next – it will blow his mind!