Toddlers 2.0

The experience my kids (2 and 4) have of media is radically different from my experience when I was growing up. Of course, they clamor to watch certain programs and it’s always a challenge to balance the “right” amount of television with their wants, what’s good for them, and the temptation that television can have for exhausted parents who just need some down time. But what’s different is what these kids expect from media. Of course, they want to watch what they want when they want — which is enabled by video-on-demand from Homechoice for us, but they’re also just as likely to want to play (Web-based) computer games associated with the characters they like (like Dora games on NickJr., Sesame Street or Teletubbies) as to want to passively sit there and watch things. In the case of Sesame street, this is rarely seen on UK TV so most of their knowledge of these characters is actually through the Sesame street Web site. Many of these sites also let them stream video clips. So they are beginning to “curate” their own experience of media in much the same way that adults are. They are demanding more from their media. And why not? Why sit there and passively watch Teletubbies when you can go play an interactive Teletubby game with lots of direct feedback?

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