Babies love a lot of things: sleeping, throwing food around, displaying their disturbing baby strength by crushing your pinky finger with the vicelike grip of their nubby little hand, sleeping. Also, playing Candy Crush, apparently.
According to a study by Common Sense Media, this year, 38 percent of babies under the age of two used a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone.
The study found that mobile-device use among very young children is growing rapidly, especially compared to other mediums. Television viewership remained stable, with 66% of children under 2 watching in both 2011 and 2013. Computer use grew from 4% to 10% over the two years, but DVD viewership actually declined, from 52% in 2011 to 46% in 2013.
Not only are more children using tablets and smartphones, they’re using them for longer periods of time. The amount of time spent using these devices tripled: In 2013, children ages 0 to 8 spent an average of 15 minutes a day using mobile devices; that’s up from 5 minutes a day in 2011.
“We’re seeing a fundamental change in the way kids consume media,” [Common Sense Media CEO Jim Steyer] said. “Kids that can’t even talk will walk up to a TV screen and try to swipe it like an iPad or an iPhone.”
Well, okay then.
It makes sense: smartphones and tablets are the singing mobiles of the mobile age. Some might be alarmed by the news that so many babies are rocking Angry Birds high scores before they understand what the function of a toilet is, but those people either weren’t (or forgot that they were) raised by television back in the ‘80s or ‘90s.
I mean, most of my generation was raised by the ol’ TV babysitter, and we turned out just fine. It’s not like most of us are incapable paying attention to anything for longer than a few minutes or having a conversation that doesn’t include constant pop culture references. Ahem…
Anyway, here’s an infographic summarizing the company’s findings. Cowabunga, dude!