This Episode of Sesame Street Is Brought To You By The Letter I … Phone?

Before I blow full steam ahead on this post, I want to take you back in time. Through the magic of YouTube, please go back with me to the 1970′s, and a very familiar television show opening. I bet you can sing along…

Now, did you notice anything? Kids? Ok. A big yellow 7 year old bird? Good! Notice anything else? Were the kids outside?! AND they were PLAYING!!!! Keep this in mind as I continue to rant…

Yesterday, Christina Warren of Mashable.com wrote a piece praising Sesame Street and their Elmo iPhone app. Take a look:

Christina begins her article by saying:

Sesame Street is one of my favorite brands, not just because Grover is amazing, but because over the last 40 years, it has never been afraid of innovating and embracing new technologies.

To which I thought, absolutely! A quick search on my blog for ‘Sesame Street’ will reveal my love for all things Sesame Street as well! Calli and I have spent countless hours on the laptop watching and playing with our Sesame Street friends on sesamestreet.org! Even my very first column for Dad-Blogs was about Sesame Workshop‘s panwapa.com. (Feel free to visit the column here: Can You Tell Me How To Get To Panwapa Island?) So yes, I agree that Sesame Street is worth buying in to.

She goes on to talk about the app, and then this statement caught my eye:

On my running route, I see children in their strollers playing on iPhone or iPod touch devices. It’s amazing.

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The squeal of screeching tires sounded in my head and I did a spit-take. WHAT?! ‘Come on kids, let’s go to the park. You can play on my iPhone!’?

When I first saw that, I wanted to rant about the evils of technology and how Sesame Street shouldn’t influence kids to sit around playing with it. But then it hit me. Sesame Street is just taking advantage of how we as parents utilize technology in order to get their brand out in front of as many young eyeballs as possible. And it’s still a good brand. Sesame Workshop does a lot for our kids, and I would never discourage anyone from participating in that.

But iPhones in strollers?! Parents, please. What are you doing to your kids?

Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. I can’t rail against technology as I type my blog in to my laptop while I listen to Pandora and munch on my freshly microwaved breakfast. I’ve been known to hand my Blackjack II to my kid with a cartoon or game on. But I do that while we’re waiting at the doctor’s office or the DMV. And if we are at the doctor’s office, I look for toys. The dirtier the better. Builds up the immune system with antibodies. But I digress.

When at the park, dear parents, what ever happened to ‘Look, Junior, isn’t that a cute puppy?’ or ‘My, what a tall tree that is!’ If a kid is dexterous enough to navigate an iPhone app, I’m willing to bet that he/she is able to walk and explore the world around them. Why would you hamper that?

What do you think? Am I just flying off the deep end? Has my year plus of Daddy Blogging finally given me a self-righteous need to judge all other parents and find them inferior? How do you utilize technology in your parenting?

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