I think about that all the time. I have a nearly 7 months old baby and am very aware of when I am “multitasking” time with him and a screen device at the same time…and screen time for him. On the one hand we never did go blind (or whatever the threat of being too close to the TV was in the 80s,” however as a former teacher with a masters in literacy I know programming certain isnt helping…but is it hurting? Aside from the quality of programming, none of which appears to actually make your child smarter or be a teacher to them, what really worries me is how passive watching TV is. Even staring at the ceiling, the lights, the shadows, is more interactive. And then you have digital books which I’ve decided are fine, especially if I am reading it to him because he will need to understand how to read and navigate digital books…and I let him sit with me and watch very dull (for him) things like the BBC Emma (indefinitely on repeat!)…but the phone…so small, so easy, and yet its not the same as focusing on your child. It draws your eyes away if only some of your attention. I do the best I can to not touch it if I am doing something with him.
I got the best voicemail from a small child playing with a mobile phone once. My work number must have been the last number called or something because they kept calling back, getting my voicemail message and saying ‘hehwo’ and giggling. Happened about 4 times. It was lovely to come into work the next day and hear that.