Smartphones and Tables Causing Addiction in Children as Young as 4

baby_ipadThe Telegraph cites unnamed psychiatrists in declaring that the number of people classified as “digitally dependent” has risen 30% over the past three years. The latest demographic afflicted by an addiction to our always-on lifestyle: Toddlers.

Dr Graham said that young technology addicts experienced the same withdrawal symptoms as alcoholics or heroin addicts, when the devices were taken away.

He warned that the condition prevented young people from forming normal social relationships, leaving them drained by the constant interaction.

"Children have access to the internet almost from birth now,” he told the Sunday Mirror.

“They see their parents playing on their mobile devices and they want to play too. It's difficult, because having a device can also be very useful in terms of having a reward, having a pacifier. But if you don't get the balance right it can be very dangerous.

"They can't cope and become addicted, reacting with tantrums and uncontrollable behaviour when they are taken away. Then as they grow older, the problem only gets worse. Even the most shy kids, when they hit their teens, suddenly want to become sociable and popular."

The article opens with a warning about how experts agree that babies and toddlers using tablets and smartphones for several hours a day are in danger of long-tern addiction and social dysfunction. It goes on to cite the case of a four-year-old girl for the United Kingdom that has been enrolled in therapy for compulsive iPad usage.

Dude, seriously, if your toddler does ANYTHING for “several hours a day,” you’ve got a problem.

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