Children Are More Likely to Know How to Use a Smartphone Than Tie Their Shoes, Says New Study

Children Are More Likely to Know How to Use a Smartphone Than Tie Their Shoes, Says New Study

Is tech savviness in toddlers coming at the expense of basic life skills?

By Tamara Palmer

If you put a smartphone in the hands of a two-year-old, chances are they might know how to use at least something on it, but if you put them in a pair of untied shoes, they'll probably fall over.

This might sound crazy to adults, but that's the overwhelming conclusion of a new study by Australian software company AVG Technologies, which found that more kids aged 2-5 can use a smartphone than tie their shoes or make their own breakfast. And that tech savviness starts even earlier. AGV conducts many studies with children of all age groups and has previously found that most babies have what they call a "digital footprint" by the time they're six months old.

The current study contains a number of surprises. Older mothers fared well in the study, which found that mothers who are over 35 are more likely to have children that age with life skills such as being able to write their own names. And children from the United States were found to be able to use a phone or tablet app at a rate of almost three times that of kids of the same age in Japan.

“Perhaps the most important piece of data to come out of this survey is the fact that 69% of children aged 2–5 are using a computer in the first place," Lloyd Borrett, a security agent for AGV, said in a statement about the study. "It’s exciting and commendable that so many parents are teaching their children such valuable computer skills so early on — they will need these skills to succeed later in life, and perhaps increasingly, not so later in life.

AGV recommends that parents be very observant of their child's skill level and advises precautions such as restricting any possible access to adult sites, which includes any kind of social media, and placing time limits on the use of smartphones, tablets, or computers.

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