Downsizing the "One-Eye-Nanny"
There are two pieces to this observation: if my memory serves me, 2-9 year-old children don't have their own American Express cards quite yet. The parents are (obviously!) purchasing this technology for the children.
The point here is that much of this "new" technology provides the parents with their most valuable commodity: "silent children". A 6-year-old sitting in the back of the auto with a PSP is a silent 6-year-old: something any parent will tell you is worth at least US$1000/month or more.
Having observed technology penetration into my friends lives with and without children, the ones with kidz are usually the ones that have a high incidence of personal and household entertainment electronics. And the Family friends are the ones to most likely utter "go watch (TV, PS3, DVD, PC, etc.) because mommy is busy" when I'm visiting.
Now, I'm a "closet" BOFH, the "malo tio Brett" (bad uncle Brett), so I try to engage my young friends in "educational" discussions rather than let the "one-eye-nanny" take them away. Things like "do you know how to make a sling-shot?" or "do you know how to make a burglar alarm out of empty tin cans?" - much to the "delight" of their parents. (The best is "Ice Fishing" taught to 1 year olds - how to pull ice cubes from a water glass at a restaurant and fling them on the floor...) I've already been warned that if I try to give the children the "Dangerous Books" that they will arrive on my doorstep for the entirity of Summer Vacation...