Tech etiquette - Do you let the kids play with your iPhone?

Filed under: Toys, Gadgets, Extreme Childhood

Apple iPhoneI have an iPhone; I bought it for work, but I have to admit that the Cool Factor was also important to me. I also must confess that it can do some pretty awesome things, most of which are not necessarily work-related, like checking Twitter or downloading music from my college days or seeing what's hot at Fashion Week. (Okay maybe that last one is kind of work related. Possibly.)

My kids are not allowed to mess with my iPhone. They don't watch videos on it or play games. Occasionally they get to check the weather, and if we are stuck somewhere waiting for something, they can flip through my pictures, and of course they sometimes get to talk on it. But beyond that (and those moments are very, very few) my iPhone is off limits. Completely.

But not all parents feel the way I do. Victor Agreda at TUAW lets his kids play with his iPhone, and it raises an interesting question about technology and kids, though: "what's the harm? Is there harm? I've limited their use to the inevitable 'we're waiting right now' moments. But still, no matter what we've done that day that was new and exciting, if my son plays with the iPhone for 5 minutes that's all Mom hears about when he's going to bed. ... I grew up with an Apple ][ in the house and I'm sure that had a hand in my love of tech. But there's also a case for letting kids find their own way, at an age-appropriate level. I cringe when they swing my naked iPhone around using iSaber, expecting Wii-style damage to our windows and the device itself. Yet I can't help but think that getting used to technology early -- something that will increasingly invade their lives as it becomes more embedded in our world -- is maybe a good thing. Everything in moderation, of course."

What about you -- do you let your kids play with your iPhone (or your Blackberry or whatever you're using these days) or is it off-limits? And what about the bigger point here, that technology is an inevitable part of our kids' lives? Is that true in your house, or not so much?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.