I hung out with my 18-month-old cousin this weekend. Like they are at 18-months, he was curious and loud and busy and looking at absolutely everything like a puzzle to be investigated and solved. Which involved a lot of begging to be picked up and brought to the wall so he could switch the ceiling fan on and off.
His mama and grandmother, my cousin and aunt, both have smart phones. And buddy, what could be more interesting to an 18-month-old than this shiny thing that makes lights and noises and that mama and grandma seem to really want to keep away from you? Right--sooner or later, the kid's gonna get to play with the smart phone.
He may or may not understand the concept of "phone" yet or the fact that a smart phone can be used as such, but he's got touch screens figured out. He knows how to "slide to unlock." He knows how to move through the menus of little icons and touch the pictures that make things pop up that he wants to see.
This is completely unsurprising considering how it is that kids that age learn things---by trial and error play and by watching and imitating adults. But I still find it kind of fascinating that he already figured all that out. What does that say about the future life of his generation, grown up inseparable from touch screen technology?