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Girl, Uninterrupted: "iPad babies" are in danger

Most Generation Z kids probably remember getting their first phones or computers in their teenage years, as their parents said, "A phone is a responsibility."

As technology like iPhones and iPads have taken over as forms of communication, kids are gaining access to screens and the internet even earlier in life. Now, those kids are starting to grow up, and the world is seeing some of the downsides of giving young children internet access. 

In the past couple of years, the term "iPad baby" has become a buzzing topic on TikTok and other social media platforms. Videos often draw humor from the bad manners and strange mannerisms that seem to appear in the kids attached to screens.

These observations have sparked a heated debate about when is an appropriate time to introduce children to technology. The negative effects of internet access on the development and health of children should convince parents to hold off on giving iPads to their babies.

One thing about the internet is that kids can get virtually anything they want instantly. One search on YouTube or Google will yield millions of results, especially when there is no parental censorship in place. This makes the internet extremely dangerous in terms of exposing children to violent, sexually explicit or sensitive content at a very early age. Many Gen Z kids experienced this issue as young teenagers, but now kids will likely be experiencing it even before that. 

Although explicit and sexual content may not necessarily make children violent, it does still affect their brain development and behaviors. A 2009 study found that people who played violent video games took longer to help people in danger due to being desensitized to pain and violence. The difference between kids in 2009 playing violent video games and kids today is that kids today can see videos of real-life violence and deaths without having to search very hard. 

Another behavioral issue stemming from prolonged technology use is a decline in sociability. Because technology allows children to talk to people online and fill their time, kids are less focused on in-person relationships and learning social skills. As a result, kids are less likely to understand social situations and politeness. Those skills are developed through practice, and with social media, kids have fewer opportunities to practice real-life social skills.

Perhaps more noticeable than social tendencies is the effects of technology on the physical and mental health of children. Studies have shown that the increased screen time kids are exposed to has been linked to "negative effects on speech, language, motor skills, cognitive development, and social development." Studies have also shown that increased screen time, coupled with exposure to food advertisements, may be a factor in the increasing childhood obesity rate, which is now "the most common chronic disease of childhood.​​"

With more ways to access the internet, kids in Generation Alpha are growing up with shorter attention spans, less social awareness and physical disorders from lack of exercise. Although parents may be inclined to use technology as entertainment or education for their children, it is more important for kids to spend more time outdoors, using their imaginations. The success of future generations will depend on parents understanding the vitality of limiting screen time and allowing kids to grow up in the real world.

Kenzie Shuman is a freshman studying Journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Kenzie know by emailing her at or messaging her on Instagram @zieshuman. 

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