My baby girl is obsessed with technology. We don’t have a television at home, which is perfect because I have no intention of turning those baby blues into squares, BUT my 11-month-old knows all about computers, cell phones and cameras. The fact that my child is transfixed with every other digital screen in the house renders my high and mighty ‘my daughter will not watch TV’ resolution somewhat redundant.
This whole ‘techno-baby’ thing is really interesting because, at the risk of sounding like my gran, I didn’t grow up surrounded by technology – and I am not that old. The cell phone revolution only came about when I was in my teens and technology has made gargantuan leaps and bounds since then. As much as I would love my daughter to be oblivious to ‘the digital screen’, I work on a computer and she is mighty inquisitive. I also take masses of pictures of her and she is now anything but oblivious to the camera.
I have very little respect for my piece-of-rubbish cell phone, which I am annoyingly bad at answering, and it often serves as a plaything for Amelia – who makes better use of it than I do. She takes great pleasure in pushing the blue-lit buttons on my phone and has been known to make calls to friends and also her daddy’s work phone. The other day I got a g-chat message from my husband telling me that Amelia was phoning him on his work phone… he even tried to talk to her (bless him) but in a frenzy of button pushing Amelia was none the wiser. Madame Amelia has also called the fire brigade – much to my embarrassment. She was playing with my phone one day and I heard a man’s voice saying “would you like the police, a fire engine or an ambulance?” I have recorded the 25 August, 2010, as the day Amelia made her first prank call.
I do feel the occasional pang of guilt when I acknowledge that Amelia’s obsession with technology is because it is so much a part of our lives. That said, I do think that it is important that Amelia is computer savvy from a young age. Gone are the days when computer screens were black and green and a game of hang-man was the extent of my friendship with technology. Computers are ‘the now’, and they are most certainly ingrained in Amelia’s future. So I guess that my task as parent will be to help strike a balance between obsession, leisure and necessity, whilst affording my daughter every opportunity to learn the value (and mind-numbing danger) of the techno-world.