My father is determined to buy my 8-year-old son a computer for Christmas (would have internet access). Why would this be a good/bad idea in your opinion? What age is a good age for computer access? I have strong opinions myself, but I want to see if I am being too rigid.
The general feeling is that screen time is not beneficial and may be detrimental (to the developing visual system) before the age of 6. The eyes are continuing to develop until adolescence but screens are an essential part of our culture...and remember that children will become part of their time, place, and group...beyond their household.
Once children are firmly in the second plane of development (around age 6), computer can be a useful tool, particularly for research.
So, the kind of middle ground approach that seems to make sense to me is to allow screen time (so children can feel connected to their culture/peers...which is truly important) but to limit it to an amount that fits the family. The developmental opthalmologist that we've been working with since my son was 3 also says that for every 20 minutes you are focused near at a screen, take 20 seconds to focus far (say out the window). So, give the eyes regular screen breaks.