Technology Is The New Pacifier

Cabana is an activity I created to bring Sophia to spend time with me at night and calm her down during her terrible twos’ year. During the early stages of “cabana,” Sophia would come close to me and we would talk below the bed’s sheets. Initially, this activity worked out great as Sophia would then come to see me in the evening, play cabana, get tired and eventually ask to go to her room for nighty night. She would sleep like an angel the whole night. Everyday, my wife appreciated the activity as we both slept like an angel for almost six months straight. For a good while, the word “cabana” meant rest and play at night with daddy in our household. Not anymore.

Daddy! Cabana, Let it go? These are the new words that Sophia uses around 3:30am almost every morning after waking up three times prior to that from insomnia.  She also uses these words at 6:15am, after she leaves for daycare at 7:15am and when we come to get her at daycare at 6:00pm. She asks to play in the cabana at 8:00pm, and of course around bed time. Why are all these activities happening now, you might be asking? Well, it started happening after I allowed Sophia to watch a video on the smartphone while we were in the cabana one day.

I was trying to be a TechnoModerator but technology has back fired on me as now my kid can’t wake up in the morning or go to sleep in the evening without asking to have a smartphone video being played. Of course that in our house, technology isn’t played all the time, regardless of whether Sophia asks for a video to be played or not. But the fact of the matter is that she is constantly asking for technology to serve as a pacifier! At least, this is what it seems to me.

Do you know anybody who has a kid who is constantly asking for technology in order to be entertained? How do they feel about the use of technology in their household? What do you think will happen to the new generation of toddlers being exposed to all these technologies?


  1. When my eldest was two-years old (about thirty years ago), I threw out the TV set. Was not necessarily due to any great wisdom. I was trying to get my evening TV fix, my kid wanted to play, and my wife was complaining about the sex and violence. So I gave up and got rid of the TV.

    Kids don’t need most of the nonsense we use to entertain ourselves, and neither do the adults.

  2. Very interesting questions that sadly Boone has the answer. It’s like the whole world is going through an experiment using tech as a pacifier yet none of us know the consequences! Good post!

  3. This is something you need to accept. Your daughter is very bright. I have a two year old that can use a Smart Phone better than me right now. This is evolution and we don’t understand it completely. Me and my wife have been brought up old school. We still give these values to our children. However we let them explore and learn with new technology. This is our future. Let them use their brain to it’s fullest. We let her entertain herself with everything she can during the day. Smart Phone, Electronic Toys, Tv remotes, gaming controllers, etc. We still let her play with older stuff. My daughter loves dads tools. She likes to pretend she is using them just like dad. You need to allow her to keep her mind busy through the day. Let her explore and don’t discipline her on modern technology. She will get tired by the night I guarantee it. We let our daughter explore all she can within reason. She is barely two and can already say advanced words, count numbers, and read words. Keep her active with knowledge during the day and you will sleep peaceful. Our daughter used to do the same things yours did. Now she wakes up around 6:30 am then tries to join us in bed and wake up everyone. A lot better than all hours of the night. I hope I have helped. It is great to see children develop with great minds.

    1. Thank you for your reply. I happen to be a researcher of technology and have conducted a number of research studies in this area. Letting kids do what they want with smartphones is a dangerous practice. Too much screen time is de fact quite detrimental to any children. The human brain wasn’t made to operate in constant information overload mode. Eventually, a burnout will occur and they are often very ugly. She has been disciplined to use computerized devices in moderation. Her crystallized intelligence is developing at rapid rates in contrast to other kids, we have observed. Kids and many times parents these days think kids know a lot about technology. Do they know how to produce an elaborated spreadsheet? can they program an application in C#? Are they really able to produce a full blown advertising campaign in social media? Or are they simply users of modern social tools? I agree that kids do get tired by night after being on smartphones and things but at what price? Serious side effects can occur by taking this stance. 🙂

  4. Technology is great to an extent, if you can keep it reeled in. I have two children, 12 and 17 years who are both virtual home school students. They have their laptops for school then nothing else. I taught science in our local school for 1 year and pulled my kids out so fast it would make your head spin. Cell phones will be the downfall of our kids. The amount of filth that I witnessed at the school was mind boggling! There is actually a diagnosis of cell phone withdrawal that children get from having their phones taken away! I witnessed a 9th grade kid have a total melt down and have to be taken to our local E.R. for just such a thing. Ridiculous! Parents today are simply lazy and full of themselves if they allow their children to have a phone or laptop as a baby sitter. As for my children, they will not own a cell phone until they are 18 years of age and can buy one for themselves.

    1. Agree with you Rusty. The smartphone has been a serious issue in kids development. Yep, I am familiar with the research. Rusty, as I am reading your reply… you might like to read my new book, “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation.” It talks a lot about what you are pointing out. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Do you mind if I share your post with others? I have alot of friends with young kids and believe they would enjoy this. Some let their kids play on phones and ipads whenever they want, while others refuse to let their children have or use smartphones, and they end up throwing tantrums hoping to get their way.

      1. Stephanie, on amazon. It is called, “Becoming a Brand: The rise of Technomoderation.” It was ranked #14 best selling book biographies of educators section January 2017. If you like discussion of technology overuse, you and your friends will really like it.

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