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The Effect Of Ipads On Toddlers

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Introduction

Continuity and change are integral, they both refer to the new innovations and life changes that might be affected by technology, westernisation, and globalisation. Before establishing technology, parents used to put so much effort into looking after their toddlers and follow every step they would take. Thus, they helped them to figure out the world and understand it, even if it costs them to leave their job just to take care of their toddlers. However, with the new innovation in the twenty-first century and establishing IPads, parents became careless about their toddlers. So they just buy an IPad and give it to their toddlers and leave them unsupervised.

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In this report, I will discuss the negative and positive perspectives of toddlers using IPads. Originally, I became interested in this topic after I witnessed my cousin’s son using his IPad all the time which had an enormously negative impact on his health. Thus, he became an overweight toddler, as well as, his eyes became weaker and he began to wear glasses at the age of 3. I chose this topic because I wanted to expand my knowledge about a topic of which I knew a little bit about from personal experience. Toddlers are the future of our society. power might not be held by them today, but it surely will in the future, so it is extremely important to look after them and check what might affect them in a negative way, so we can find a way to solve it. Otherwise, we might have a new generation full of people who don’t know how to control it. Culture and continuity play a big role in this topic because IPads are a new device that came up in modern life, which is a toll that didn’t exist in the traditions that we used to. It is very late to say no to IPads or any other form of technology because it is becoming a part of our daily life. However, we still can develop some ways that make IPads useful to the new generation.

For the foundation of my PIP, both qualitative and quantitative data collection methodologies will be used in order to have the basis of my topic. Primary research and secondary research will be used to proof and analyse my ideas as well as my personal reflection. My primary research includes questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, and observation. My secondary research will depend on my primary research so I will do some research according to the answers that I collected from the methods that I used in my primary research. My questionnaires will be given specifically to two types of audience, parents to ask them about their toddlers’ behaviour and teenagers (16-20) because they will become parents of the future and they have more knowledge about the technology so their answers will be more useful. My interview will be only with parents so they can give me a deep understanding of how their toddlers react with technology (IPads). Trusty articles such as Daily mail and telegraph, will be absolutely looked at as a research method in addition to some websites. Interviews will be used so I can get some deep answers with the freedom for my audience to express their opinion which gave me more knowledge about my topic from different perspectives.

Log

When I was a toddler, I used to play on my mother’s phone, playstation1, and watching TV. I used to waste time throughout the day on these devices (approximately 10-12 hours a day) which caused me ending up as an overweight lazy child with glasses. I suffered from these problems for almost my whole life. So when I had to choose my topic for the Personal Interest Project, I researched what type of technology is mostly affecting toddlers and whether the effect is negative or positive. I found out that most of the parents are buying IPads for their toddlers. What really motivated me to choose this topic is my cousin’s son a 4-year-old child, because his mother is always posting videos of him playing on an IPad. Therefore, when the time came to choose my topic for the personal interest project “IPads has a bad effect on toddlers’ seemed like a logical solution. I started conducting my primary research. I made a variety of questionnaires related to my topic and record the responses. Also, I gave them to my friend who lives in the Middle East to see different cultures responses. It was very fun for me to go around my school and neighbourhood asking people to do my questionnaires, as I met so many people and I made new friends. However, the digital responses were more useful as I got most of my answers from there.

After getting enough responses, It was time to make some graphs and analysis from my questionnaires, so I can get a clearer view of my topic and I can start doing my secondary research to reinforce my chapters. The process was highly stressful to conduct ideas from some questions as some answers weren’t like what I expected. However, it was very helpful and worth my time. I began my secondary research with watching and analysing videos of things related to my topic, especially the momo challenge which came recently and related to toddlers. I stepped up with my primary research and I conducted interviews with parents from different backgrounds. Some of them were really enjoyable to hear all the funny stories that parents had with their toddlers and some were sad as they are having issues with their toddlers. Then, I decided to go down to my peers in school as they have more knowledge about IPads and some of them also have a younger sibling. For that, I made up a focus group with my Society and Culture class to know more about my topic. I was very happy as it was a great chance for me to get to know more about my peers and their personalities. At the beginning of June 2019, my cousin and her son came to visit us from America. It was my golden opportunity to make an observation of her son as he was the one who motivated me to choose my topic. It was really pleasurable to spend my time with him and learn about his attitudes. By the end of July, I was finishing off my PIP with a conclusion and I realised that I became more understandable to children and more social within my meso world, as I went through a long journey of appreciating and sharing opinions with others.

Obesity and Vision Problems for Toddlers

Obesity and overweight is an excessive fat that accumulates in the human body which creates risk on his/her health. These diseases include diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Vision problems can be caused by IPads are not very serious diseases like obesity. However, it can be considered dangerous when it occurs at an early age such as toddlers’ period because it will have more time to develop, as well as the eye is still under development. This development can be affected by the rays coming out of IPads. The most common example of the eye vision problems caused by IPads is refractive errors which means that the eyes can not refract the light correctly, this results in a blurry image, and simply make the toddler need glasses to see properly. Time and change play a big part in this topic as obesity and vision problems are old issues that a lot of people face in the past and till now. However, most of these people were facing these problems as they grow up and get old, so the main reason was the age. While nowadays, toddlers are having these issues which are because of the new technology that came up such as IPads. Thus, as IPads existed, this made a big change in the societies and communities as well as bringing the concerns of obesity and vision problems within toddlers which was very rare in the past. These problems can be solved by the parents who are responsible for taking care of their toddlers in order to not having these issues.

Using IPads for a long time makes the user Lazy. Also, most people like to have a snack aside while using it to entertain themselves without knowing that this is a big harm to their health. A study made by ‘National Health and Nutrition Examination questionnaire” about the percentage of obese toddlers in America shows clearly that childhood obesity is increasing (green line) through the years as the technology developed. IPads were invented in 2010 after two years as it becomes famous and people started to buy it the percentage increased to 17.2% while it was only 13.9% in 2000. In addition to this, my questionnaire shows a greater percentage of obese toddlers who use IPads, out of 32 responses 20 of them stated yes for knowing a toddler who uses IPad and he/she is overweighted. Therefore, a long time spent on IPads by toddlers can end them up suffering from obesity. In order to solve this problem, parents should take action towards controlling their toddler, so he/she doesn’t gain extra weight. First of all, every toddler should have extra activities to do, such as playing any type of sport, having some family time with parents, and play games with other toddlers in his/her age. This will give the toddler more interests about many other things than just being lazy holding his/her IPad for the whole time.

In addition, parents should be more restricted about how much food their toddler can eat because it is very common that people eat while watching something and they don’t notice how much food they are eating. It is the same thing with toddlers they would eat lots of food while they are watching something on the IPad. Thus, there are some ways to control this problem. For example, parents can give a limitation of food to their child while using the IPad, so the child doesn’t become overweight.

From my personal experience, parents can even encourage toddlers by promising them that they will allow them to use their IPad if they do what they want. For instance, parents can teach their toddlers how to be independent in using the bathroom, so they tell them that they will allow them to use IPad if they use the bathroom without any help. This can even help parents with controlling toddlers more easily. Vision problems are another concern that has been carried on with establishing IPads. The use of IPads for a long period of time will bring many problems for the eyes, especially toddlers as their eyes are still under development. The constant light rays that come out from IPads can harm toddlers eyes and cause vision problems for them. There are lots of studies about toddlers wearing eyeglasses.

The first chart shows children wearing glasses, the percentage is at 3%. This study was conducted in 2003 before establishing IPads. However, in the second chart which was conducted in 2012, the percentage was about 15.2% of these young children who wear different types of glasses. Therefore, IPads make toddlers eyesight weaker than normal which end them up wearing glasses. To solve this problem, parents should make sure that their toddler is not using the IPad for long times as it will harm his/her eyes, as well as, making sure that he/she is getting enough sleep during the day. Also, there are some settings in the IPad that controls the brightness of it, so they should put it on the lowest, so their toddler gets used to this small amount of light that is less harmful.

In summary, IPads can be very harmful to our toddlers as it makes them gain extra weight by being lazy and make them eat more than they need just to entertain themselves. Also, it harms their eyes, as the constant light on their eyes affect their eyes need glasses at this early age, which might be developed into a more serious disease in the future. However, the problem of obesity can be solved by organizing other activities for toddlers as well as control the amount that he/she eats. Also, the eye vision problems can be solved by controlling the amount of time that the toddlers use his/her IPad, so they don’t hurt their eyes. In addition, making sure that they have enough sleep will protect them more from these vision problems. Thus, IPads is not harmful if they correctly used by the parent who controls how their toddlers use his/her IPad.

Internet in IPads

Internet is a global network that provides access to a variety of information and communication facilities, as well as many types of videos. IPads have access to the Internet and if parents can’t supervise the usage of their toddlers of IPads, it can be very risky to these little people as there are so many bad videos on the Internet and so many sick people who might hurt a toddler without any mercy. One of the most terrifying experiences that toddlers came across recently is The Momo challenge, which is an online game that encourages young children to do some challenges that require to hurt themselves or to hurt others, and sometimes it leads them to commit suicide. These issues are integrated with globalisation as it has an influence on all toddlers who have access to the Internet around the world. As well as this, continuity and change plays a part in this matter as IPads became part of human life and we can not just ignore it, but be aware of its negative side.

The Momo challenge came up to the attention of the public in July 2018. It’s originally started in WhatsApp by sending weird messages to young children, calling them, and talk to them. Next, the character starts giving easy challenges to the children, then suddenly ask them to kill themselves in horrible ways. During my research, I saw some comments from people who experienced the Momo challenge and I read a horrible way that the character Momo used to make the children commit suicide such as cut the stove while their parents are asleep, stick forks in electric outlets and jump from high distances. Threatening is included in this game as the character asks for video evidence of the tasks and if the children don’t do what they have been asked for, Momo tells them that she will kill them. The positive side of this, There’s only a small number of toddlers who have a WhatsApp. However, the Momo challenge did not stop at that point, it appeared in many Cartoon series and Children TV shows on YouTube with the same subliminal message of suicide. For instance, Peppa Pig is one of the most-watched animated series by toddlers. In one of its episodes, the character Momo pops up within the episode asking children to kill themselves. This might have a broad negative impact on toddlers especially the ones who watch this on a daily basis.

According to my questionnaire of parents, I asked them about the favourite TV show for their toddlers and the surprising thing was Peppa Pig show became second after SpongeBob SquarePants with 7 votes out of 20, which means that many toddlers are interested in this series. The official channel of Peppa pig on YouTube has more than 3 billion views, which is almost half the population of the earth. It’s a huge number of people (mostly kids) who are watching this series on youtube which means parents need to be highly aware of these types of videos to these, so their toddlers are not affected by them. The video of Momo appearing on the TV series Peppa Pig has been deleted after two days of publishing. However, Momo is just one sick character out of thousands of other characters that can lead toddlers to a disastrous outcome.

Moreover, toddlers are like an empty bucket that needs to be filled, so they learn whatever they see and hear. Thus, there are a huge number of videos and resources on the internet that might teach toddlers bad attitudes and swearing words. According to my questionnaire gathered from parents who have a toddler owns an IPad. 10 parents out of 26 answered once a month for their children who use inappropriate language. The problem is not how many times a toddler use inappropriate language, but the fact that they are swearing and using hateful words at this young age. More than 50% of parents I questioned have a toddler who swears. This is evident how societies had changed with the new technology (IPad).

However, according to the same questionnaire, but was gathered by one of my friends who lives in the Middle Eastern area:

94% of the responses answered never for hearing any inappropriate language, as only one response out of 17 responses answered once a month. This shows that different societies interact differently to IPads and its content, as the survey of mine that done within the Australian culture, there were a variety of answers, whereas, in the Middle Eastren region, most of the answers were never. This shows that parents in the Middle Eastern area are giving more attention to their toddlers’ attitudes towards IPad, unlike the Australian one.

Communication Skills Within IPads and Autism

Being able to communicate with other people is a very important thing and it can be considered one of the requirements of life as no one is living alone, but with other people. Depending on the way parents control their toddlers’ usage of IPads, this might increase their communication skills or it might drag them down and they could suffer from Autism. There are so many educational programs and cartoons for kids on YouTube and many other sources that can be accessed using IPads. This type of programs and cartoons are very helpful for toddlers to develop their skills specifically their communication skills. For example, Dora the Explorer is an American animated series that is extremely supportive to toddlers, As the main character, Dora and her best friend the monkey boots are having a new journey every episode to explore places and solve problems. In every episode, Dora gets the audience (toddlers) involved in her adventures, by asking them to repeat with her what she says, so the toddler can do some activities while he/she is watching a video of the show on their IPad. This series and many similar series are helpful in developing the communication skills of a toddler, as this show encourages them to go out and explore the world and talk to many other people. In addition, it develops their speaking and reading skills when she asks them to repeat with her and showing some words to them so they learn it and don’t forget this type of lessons because they are fun and educational at the same time.

While I was conducting a focus group with my peers in school on how IPad affect their young siblings. Almost all of them were saying that IPads helped their siblings with disciplining and teach them so many things. One of my peers told me about her 4-year-old sister and how her parents were having difficulties with teaching her little sister the alphabet and some vocabulary. However, after she started watching some educational programs, she learnt all the alphabet by herself and she’s even helping her parents to develop their English language by speaking to them in English as they are a new arrival to Australia and they need some help in learning English. Thus, if IPads are used correctly, they can be helpful in developing toddlers mind and communication skills.

On the other hand, A long time spent on IPad would have a bad effect on his/her communication skills as he/she sticks to the IPad and it becomes the only friend they have. So if IPads are not used correctly it can affect a toddler communication skills in a bad way. It might even lead to a toddler to end up with Autism. For instance, a statistical analysis has been done by the Canadian government to observe the number of kids 5-14 years old (which is where a toddler starts to grow up and the signs of Autism in his/her personality starts to appear) who have Autism.

Autism Timeline in Canada

IPads were invented in 2010, which exactly where the percentage began to increase rapidly, this is a sign of how this new device had a bad effect on toddlers capability of communication. A very interesting story I heard from a parent while I was conducting my Interviews with parents. she told me about her son 6 years old that she bought him an IPad since he was 2 years old. She said that she’s working a full-time job as well as her husband, so they didn’t have time to spend it with their toddler, but she was allowing him to use his IPad all the time so she can take some rest from her work. In the beginning, it was very normal for him and she was happy that he enjoys his device. However, after 2 years when he was 4 years old, he was completely isolated with his IPad all the time and he was refusing to talk to anyone. Now he’s in school and teachers are always calling her about her child who refuses to talk to anyone but his Mom which resulted in him being bullied by the other kids and he doesn’t know how to defend himself.

Another gripping story about a 5-year-old toddler that I heard from one of my friends during my interviews. I asked her about how long does your sister spend using an IPad? She answered, “ My sister spends about 4-5 hours a day on her IPad which makes me worried so much about her.” So I directed her to my main point which is whether her sister is becoming less social or more social as she’s using her IPad for that long time by saying “And do you think that this affects her communication skills? So is she becoming so lonely or she’s very talkative and social?” She laughed “she’s so social and talkative. She’s always telling us stories from her favourite TV shows and she keeps talking when anyone comes and visits us.”

In conclusion, different genders might attract to IPads differently as it can be seen that the 6-year-old male became obsessed with his IPad and he became less social and the signs of autism started to reveal by his attitudes, while the 5-year-old girl uses her IPad for a long time but she became more communicational and talkative. Therefore, it is extremely important for parents to know how their toddlers are using their IPads and control the time spent on them.

A Friendly and Educational Toll For Toddlers

IPads have access to a huge number of resources that parents can use to educate their toddlers. It’s extremely important for parents to catch up with new innovations that are coming up in order to make their toddlers ready to compete with other toddlers in life and not to be falling behind. This is integral with continuity and change, so people have to get used to new things in order to live in this world.

During my observation to my cousin’s son as he is using his IPad most of the day, I noticed so many signs of intelligence that he got from his IPad. How did I know this? Well, all my family and relatives talk to him using our language. It’s only me who is talking to him in English, and I noticed that he uses lots of complex words and he’s not even in school yet. Because of this, I went through his IPad and I realised that he learnt all these words from the games he’s playing. Even though I used to think that games on IPad are useless, this has changed my perspective towards games on IPad as I believe now that they are just an educational tool for children. Before inventing IPads, there were no many sources for toddlers to access in order to learn and be prepared for school and life. They were only relying on cartoons they watch on TV and what their parents can teach them. However, with IPads, all toddlers who have an IPad are equal and they can get the proper learning from their IPads without any help from anyone, so even if the parents are not educated, they still can raise an intelligent child by guiding him to the right resources. This can be easily achieved if the parents know what type of things their toddler should access such as educational cartoons that teach basic math, and English alphabet. For example, “Just Math” is a game that kids can download on their IPads. It helps them to improve their mathematical skills by challenging them to solve math operations (Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and division). This type of applications will establish the fundamentals of math skills that every toddler would need at that stage, as it became very important to know these basic skills before starting school. This because all the other kids will ready know these information

Annotated Bibliography

  1. https://www.advantage4parents.com/article/is-your-ipad-bad-for-baby-what-you-need-to-know-about-toddlers-and-technology/
  2. https://formaspace.com/articles/education/10-ways-ipad-will-impact-kids-development/
  3. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3420064/Why-iPad-far-bigger-threat-children-realises-Ten-years-ago-psychologist-SUE-PALMER-predicted-toxic-effects-social-media-sees-worrying-new-danger.html
  4. https://www.cultofmac.com/389895/psychologist-giving-your-kid-an-ipad-is-child-abuse/
  5. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/parenting/tips/a26968/effect-ipad-on-children/
  6. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjH1ov0ksrhAhVVWysKHWv0AcgQjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Ftimeline.com%2Fchildhood-obesity-dates-to-the-kennedy-administration-and-has-been-getting-worse-since-93e455b698ef&psig=AOvVaw1-dHRoPVz6h3QEB0lMIrj6&ust=1555144423345249
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  8. https://www.cbs.nl/en-gb/news/2004/28/glasses-inevitable-in-the-long-run
  9. http://www.visionmonday.com/article/new-report-kids-x-parents-25-of-children-using-vision-correction/
  10. https://healthcare.utah.edu/the-scope/shows.php?shows=0_tae12e39
  11. https://www.questionpro.com/blog/primary-research/
  12. https://www.questionpro.com/blog/secondary-research/
14 May 2021

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