According to Sarah Kessler over at Mashable “Nearly 80% of children between the ages of 0 and 5 use the Internet on at least a weekly basis”
This does not surprise me at all. I know some of you may be in shock and wonder what parents are thinking. But my son who is now 4 months into his 5th year has owned an iPod touch since he was about 2. He is great with our iPad and has used a Windows laptop since about the ripe old age of one and a half.
He has been supervised on the internet and is the main reason he has a laptop. Is is a used one we had before switching to a Macbook and one we did not care if he broke it. He doesn’t type out 70 WPM or anything but he does visit cartoon sites like Disney, and Cartoon Network where he plays games and prints coloring pages. He listens to stories from Sesame Street and plays the occasional game like polar bowler. He used to watch movies on his computer until we got more and more on his iPod.
My son maybe a little different. If you can picture the look he gets as he friends a playmate at our local playground and upon leaving my son tells his playmate they could look him up on Facebook. Of course most kids may be getting on the internet but my son has Facebook, Twitter and his own Gmail. He does not post or check it but I was sitting around one day and I thought I’d see if his name is available on those mediums. So I checked and it was. I thought this was a great idea since many kids his age were named the same. His use of Facebook is limited to him getting a message coming to me where I read it to him, then I type what he would like to say back. We post his accomplishments to his Facebook page where his friends are mostly family although there are some “friends” that he has made. I feel this is like a scrapbook of his life that he can look back upon at a later date.
So personally, I am not surprised that 80 percent of children under 5 are on the internet. I think this is a generation that will be wired all the time. Our future with this generation is the way of the internet. TV will be streamed to our mobile devices and shot up to the television through that device when we want it to. Internet will be everywhere and at a cost we can afford. And I like it, as I think the internet is knowledge and knowledge is power. Being powerful makes us more creative and productive.
The iPad 2 launch is now in the past. I did not purchase one but I did get to hold one. All the news that it is nice to hold is true. It is slimmer and that makes it not feels as though it was going to slip out of your hands. I did not get the feeling that while holding the iPad 2 that it would crash to the floor. I did have my original iPad with my wife and me and I tested Safari’s quickness. We had the countdown for the same website and the iPad 2 loaded the entire page about 5-7 seconds quicker. But still that was not enough to get me to cough up the funds to buy into iPad 2. I would like to have a new iPad2 but just like when the Macbook Air came out it is just not something I can lay down almost $1000 every year.
Now we are looking ahead at the next rumor. It would seem that NFC (near field communication) is the latest way to gain a customer. I remember when I was carrying a pager and a cell phone or when I carried a Dell Axim Pocket PC and a cell phone. The day cell phones came with software to sync calendar events was a blessing to me. I use my calendar a lot to keep up with appointments. I remember how much of a hassle it was to hook up a cord to sync but I did it anyway. Then came wireless syncing and it was great.
Just like combining a pager and cell phone or a cell phone and the Axim into one device was a welcomed addition. It meant that you no longer had to carry multiple devices. Well now comes NFC. One basic is that your purchases will be charged to your device either through your carrier or via an account such as a credit card that you pair up with your phone. If you go into several retail outlets and look at the point of sale where you swipe your card you may see this icon on the machine. It means currently if you have a bankcard or credit card with a computer chip in it you do not have to swipe your card through that tunnel but only have to pas the card near the pos machine and your card is charged. But finance companies like banks, Visa, MasterCard and others saw an opportunity for a device you always have with you, your phone. Why make a consumer take out a card and swipe it when you’re most likely to have your phone with you all the time.
Charging purchases is not the only way to use NFC. Basically NFC can communicate anything to you when you are near it. Say you are in a mall and you pass an ad in the corridor, it says swipe your phone here and it takes you to a website of the product, plays a video or offers you a discount. Maybe it is plane tickets. You bought them; the ticket information is on your phone. You get to the check in counter where you swipe your phone and viola, you’re checked in.
There are many applications where NFC could be useful. But just like other advancements to our lives there will be those who embrace it and those who are reluctant to use it. Fear of the unknown is powerful and it is why we should become seekers of knowledge and take control. NFC does not seem like a bad thing. I am sure it will offer the same protection as your plastic does now. For more about NFC check out this website. I am sure you will find what you are seeking to learn there.