Toddlers need treatment for iPad addiction?

It seems that some very young humans play with iPads nearly half of their waking day. This is leading to withdrawal tantrums of an extreme kind.

One of the first words they learn: iPad. Handrioli/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk

I understand that one of the main joys of parenting a toddler involves keeping the little one amused.

Amused, as in quiet.

Ever since the iPad came along, with its bright colors and infinite range of games and pictures, it has seemed like an ideal tool to keep baby happy. This happiness, however, is one that baby does not want to ever, ever stop. So much so that some toddlers are now said to be iPad addicts.

This curiously adult affliction seems to involve baby undergoing seven aspects of demented ranting, should her iPad be taken away.

As the Telegraph reports, a novel strain of therapy involves easing the strain that little children feel when their gadget is not at hand.

There are examples of toddlers being engrossed in their tablets for up to 4 hours a day. This might not seem like much, until one realizes that many of the very youngest are only awake 10 hours a day.

The Sunday Mirror reported on a case of a 4-year-old who, it claimed, is Britain's youngest iPad addict. It quoted psychiatrist Dr. Richard ­Graham who runs the Capio Nightingale Clinic in London. The clinic specializes in digital detox, weaning the dependent off their gadgets.

Graham, to whom the 4-year-old was referred by her mother, said that he believes such an addiction is common and not unlike alcoholism or drug dependency.

"Although at this stage her use isn't a sufficient concern to warrant in-patient care, it would be if her addiction continues to the age of 11, when she has access to other platforms like ­smartphones and the Internet," said Graham.

Graham thinks it might be a good idea for Internet use advice to be a core element of ante-natal classes.

Perhaps this all begins with mimicry. The children see their parents' deep involvement in their machines and want to do the same.

The machines themselves are vastly enjoyable. Indeed, visit any bar or restaurant and see supposedly adult humans seemingly unable to focus on anything but screens.

Psychologists worry that when toddlers grow up they won't be able to have normal, human interactions with their contemporaries.

But when normal, human interactions already consist of Facebook friending and Snapchat sending, some might think an iPad addiction is merely an early introduction into a certain future.

iPad, therefore I am.

 

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