A fascinating new study by AVG shows that the key offline activity that’s surviving the digital onslaught appears to be bike riding. About the same number of 3 to 5 year old kids can ride bikes as use a smartphone app. But aside from that, the picture’s not so rosy. About twice as many kids can play online games as can write their own names. As for shoelaces? Forget it!
And that’s the point surely. It’s great that kids are understanding technology more – so they should. But it’s not so great that it appears to be displacing physical skills or other forms of social and mental ones. By the time kids get to 6 onwards, two thirds of parents express concerns that time online is taking away from “learning other more important life skills”.
The answer is not 2 separate worlds that must be cultivated. There’s no more than 100% of anyone’s time, and trying to shoehorn more offline time while retaining the online time is a fool’s errand. The trick is to allow the two worlds to coalesce and complement each other. To get more into understanding the technology that is making kids spend that much more time online, and see how to use it in the physical world. That’s the philosophy behind Freaky Rivet as we go interactive – create an online environment that complements and encourages the offline one.