The age at which children become tech-aware is getting younger and younger. As much as we may consider today's teenagers as "digital natives" - today's toddlers will be even more tech-saavy than this current generation of teens when they reach adolescence. The implications of this trend are yet to be discovered, but they are likely to be numerous.
Nearly two in five children have used a tablet or smartphone before they could speak in full sentences, according to a new report.
The report was authored by family advocacy organization Common Sense Media, and found that 38% of children under the age of 2 have used a mobile device for playing games, watching videos or other media-related purposes. In 2011, only 10% had.
By the age of 8, 72% of children have used a smartphone, tablet or similar device.
"This is the true sign that the digital generation has arrived," Common Sense Media's founder and CEO Jim Steyer told Mashable.
Common Sense Media found that mobile-device use among very young children is growing rapidly, especially compared to other media mediums such as television, computers, and DVDs.
Not only are more children using tablets and smartphones, they're using them for longer periods of time. The amount of time spent using these devices tripled: In 2013, children ages 0 to 8 spent an average of 15 minutes a day using mobile devices; that's up from 5 minutes a day in 2011.
"We're seeing a fundamental change in the way kids consume media," Steyer said. "Kids that can't even talk will walk up to a TV screen and try to swipe it like an iPad or an iPhone."