August 7, 2011

Over 20% Of Two-Year-Olds Have Used Smartphones

Children whose mothers were born after 1980 are more likely to use technology earlier, with one-third of them having operated a smartphone by the age of two, according to a new study released last week by BlogHer.com and the Parenting Group, publishers of Parenting, Babytalk and Parenting.com.

The survey looked at mothers from two distinct groups: Gen X moms (those born between 1965 and 1980) and Gen Y moms (those born after 1980). One out of every five two-year-old toddlers of Gen X moms reportedly used smartphones, compared to 33% for the kids of Gen Y mothers.

In fact, across the board, Gen Y mothers are more likely than Gen X moms to introduce their two-year-olds to technology, be it laptops (34% to 29%), cellphones (34% to 26%), digital cameras (30% to 18%), iPods (21% to 13%), video game systems (13% to 8%), or handheld gaming devices (13% to 10%).

"This might not seem too surprising, given the Gen-Y embrace of technology," Matt Carmichael of Ad Age reported on Thursday. "But when you consider that many of the youngest Gen-X moms are still having their first kids, whereas many millennials are putting off having kids, the adoption rates of technology start to blur."

"We wonder when the ability to hit the home button, swipe to unlock and find an app will become a recognized developmental milestone--maybe somewhere between walking and multi-word sentences," Carmichael also quipped in his report.

According to Suzanne Choney of Today.com, the BlogHer and Patenting survey was compiled from interviews with 1,038 mothers combined from both age groups.

"Now, it's not known whether those toddlers are really using the smartphones to make calls or send emails--vs. playing games and watching videos on them," Choney added. "But odds are, they're using them for entertainment. Though we wouldn't be surprised if tot texting was the next big thing. 'Mmy brg Grbrs, dprs, pls!'"


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