Attention all parents who are concerned for the safety and welfare of their kids – Looking for great Christmas gift ideas for your babies? How about a real gun, a few sticks of dynamite, a box of matches, a genuine circular saw, a carton of cigarettes, a case of beer, and one of these? . . .
What are we thinking? What are we becoming?
Perhaps more than anything else, this Fisher-Price Newborn to Toddler Apptivity Seat and iPad holder, tells us about our culture and ourselves. It tells us that marketers are brilliant at knowing us and exploiting our weaknesses. It tells us that we don’t have the time to pour into and care for our babies. It tells us that we’re willing to turn the parenting task over to media. It tells us that we’re not paying attention to the American Academy of Pediatrics and their recent stern warning against allowing children under the age of two any screen time at all. It tells us that we’re not as wise as we might think.
We have turned into a culture where me, myself, and I am an expert. . . and we fail to heed the warnings of those who might actually know better. What else could explain our willingness to immerse kids in technology to too early and too soon? Aren’t we listening when research increasingly tells us that too much screen exposure changes our brains, changes the ways in which we read, and damages the ways in which we relate one to another?
It makes sense that Fisher-Price is developing products that market research says will sell. But is sales potential the only justification for product development? Or, should Fisher-Price be motivated and directed by something greater? Shame on Fisher-Price for putting the Apptivity Seat on the market. But even more than that, shame on us for putting our babies into the Apptivity Seat.
For more on how to prudently use the great gift of technology to the glory of God, check out our Digital Kids Initiative.