The use of smartphones and computers has become ubiquitous among young children. At this point, many kids between the ages of two and five can use these technologies in such large number that it eclipses their ability to do other daily tasks. This includes the ability to ride a bike or tie a pair of shoes.
According to security software firm AVG Technologies:
1. More small children can play a computer game than ride a bike. 58 percent of children aged 2–5 know how to play a ‘basic’ computer game. In Australia it jumps to 66 percent, just behind the UK and France, while in New Zealand it is 56 percent. Even 44 percent of 2–3 year olds have the ability to play a computer game. By comparison, 43 percent of kids 2–3 can ride a bike
2. More kids aged 2–5 can play with a smartphone application (19 percent) than tie his or her shoelaces (9 percent). Almost as many 2–3 year olds (17 percent) can play with a smartphone application as 4-5 year olds (21 percent)
3. More small children can open a web browser (25 percent) than swim unaided (20 percent).
The survey was based on a poll of 2,200 mothers with internet access and with children aged two to five in Australia and New Zealand, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Japan.
Skills varied significantly by country. For example:
European children aged 2–5 lead their U.S., Australian and New Zealand counterparts in knowing how to make a mobile phone call (44 percent in Italy vs. 25 percent for the U.S.A., 19 percent in Australia and 18 percent in New Zealand), playing a computer game (70 percent U.K. vs. 66 percent Australia, 61 percent U.S.A. and 56 percent New Zealand) and operating a computer mouse (78 percent France vs. 67 percent U.S.)
Almost three times as many Australian and USA kids (30 percent) can operate at least one smartphone or tablet app than their NZ and Japanese counterparts (12 percent and 11 percent respectively).
An Italian two-year-old making a phone call? It makes for a very short childhood.