A recent USA Today article calls them "iTots, wunderkinds of the 21st century. One-, 2- and 3- year-olds who know their way around an iPhone or an iPad better than you do." It goes on to chronicle accounts of tech-savvy kids who can Twitter, watch videos, and make phone calls, all before they're ready for daycare.
Of course, it's accompanied by the usual dose of how this-is-robbing-kids of their childhoods-hysteria, etc.--in other words, the same nonsense that was uttered about everything from comic books to Elvis Presley to horror movies. Personally, I don't think exposure to the realities of the ever-changing world is a bad thing at all--it's inevitable, after all, that by the time the boys are ready for high school textbooks, they'll probably be downloading their homework assignments onto an iPad, or some equivalent.
Carter and Nathaniel are already amazing me with their comfort level, and outright skill, with their proud Papa's many electronic gadgets. Just tonight, Nathaniel was aiming my digital camera at Mom and various toys, and before long, I'm sure he'll be posting his own Flickr portfolio. And Carter took to my new iPhone and played along on the electronic keyboard on the Simon's Cat game like he'd been playing the piano for years.
The boys continue to sing, play games, and read books, so I don't think these devices are bad influence at all. Think about it: when I'm 75, the boys will be in their early 30s. Someone's gonna have to come by to help me get my email working...