Background. In recent decades, the living conditions and development of children have changed significantly. The group of children that is open to the new and is sensitive enough is the group of children of early and preschool age since they have been formed and developed in completely different conditions than previous generations. The new childhood is taking shape and exists in the material, information, communicative, etc. environment that adults shape.
The Objective is to consider some general trends of the information environment of modern childhood and to fix a number of its contradictions and paradoxes.
Design.The paper attempts to determine the characteristics of modern preschool childhood through analyzing child information environment. Based on the analysis of the market for modern toys, books and films, the author states some paradoxes of the current socio-cultural situation. One of them consists in the fact that a significant part of the extensive information products for children is not designed for the age characteristics of the target audience. Another paradox lies in the fact that the increased demand for the child mental development is combined with an excessively careful attitude to their physical security and independence. Particular attention is paid to computer technology in early and preschool childhood.
Results.The identified features of modern children in connection with the characteristics of the child subculture are discussed. Among them there are the underdevelopment of large and small motor skills, impaired speech development, lack of imagination, communication difficulties, lack of independence and self-organization. Having a high level of awareness, mental development and technical literacy, children still remain passive, dependent on adults and external circumstances.
Findings.The author concludes that the attitudes of adults to early development, which is understood as “learning,” inhibits the development of the child’s personality and brings about lack of motivation. Attempting to accelerate intellectual development inepts and sometimes blocks the development of the child’s personality. With all the ambiguity of the concept of "personality", the key defining its characteristics are self-reliance, independence, and responsibility. It is these characteristics that are most affected in modern children.
In the modern world a dominant role in everyday life is played by such media channels as television, video resources and the Internet. Perception of the world is reverberated by the more indirect images of this world, whereas visuality is the formative principle of visual culture. «The «visual turn» consists in the shift of modern methods of verbal perception toward visual, or image ones.
Images are the components of the mental architecture. Image sensitivity replaces the text and sometimes it complements the text. Topical issues of visualization require modernised research methods of media images, which must be included in the broader context of interdisciplinary research.
The Internet space acquires an independent meaning, it carries a growing set of social interactions and contacts. With the development of the Internet business, the linear narratives are replaced by hypertextual and visual ones. The Internet can be viewed in “the postmodern situation» as a setting of global automation, and also as endless polyphonic communication of independent segments once a common cultural and information space. The most active Internet audience is presented by young people. Within them the formation of various subcultures and communities is inherent, there is a new system for structuring culture.
In the modern consumer society, along with other advertising media, products are increasingly becoming a source of visual differentiation and entertainment. The visual impact of online advertising is determined by the fact that it represents the lifestyle and values of the youth subculture, constructs a new perception and develops a new structure of consciousness and vision of the world of young people.