Are Touchscreens and Social Media Good for Kids? Plus, 3D Printing Puts Down Roots in NYC

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Americans will buy millions of smartphones, tablet computers and other digital tech this holiday season, and many of those gifts will be given to children.

As many parents know, ubiquitous digital devices mean kids are developing their tech savvy at an early age, often swiping, tapping and typing before learning to swim or ride a bike.

Nineteen percent of kids between the ages of two and five know how to use a smartphone application, while just nine percent can tie his or her shoelaces, according to a 2010 study conducted as part of a year-long 'Digital Diaries' research project on the influence of technology on children by the internet security company AVG.

This week on WNYC's New Tech City, host Manoush Zomorodi talks to Dr. Ari Brown, a pediatrician in Austin, Texas, and lead author of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) study on the effects of media on children.

The AAP suggested kids two years old and younger be completely screen-free and that older children should get no more than two hours of screen time a day.

Dr. Brown weighs in on the longterm effects of digital technology on childhood development and what parents should think about when deciding when their kids should get their own smartphones or Facebook accounts.

Plus, a report on the growing number of 3D printing companies like MakerBot that are taking "homemade" to a new level.