While toting an iPhone or iPad to the bathroom is the modern equivalent of cracking open a good book while taking care of business, a new product designed for potty-training toddlers has gained the ire of concerned parents for encouraging just that. Let’s pause to look at the contraption in question. We present the iPotty.
Yes, what you are seeing is, indeed, a child’s toilet with an iPad mount. They put a freaking iPad mount on a toiler. Wow.
That was the reaction of The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, an advocacy group that argues that exposing children to technologies such as the iPad during early stages of development has a detrimental effect on development. Straddling an iPad mount while learning to use the toilet would fall squarely within the realm of things the group hopes to discourage.
The body of research on the longterm effects of smartphones and tablets on the growth and development of children hasn’t reached a decisive conclusion on the matter, but it’s easy to understand why some parents discourage relying on technology to keep children entertained. Perhaps its nostalgia for their own childhood, but more likely it has to do with the fact that all-powerful computers might limit a child’s imagination or capacity to learn.
Either way, we think distracting a child with an iPad when their focus should be elsewhere could only result in bad things. If you are investing in an iPotty, best get a waterproof case for your iPad and plenty of sanitizer to go with it.