31 Oct 2012
Children are spending more time online than ever before according to Ofcom’s latest annual report on children’s media habits.
The amount of hours children aged 12-15 spend online per week is now equal to the time they spend watching television (17 hours). An increasing amount (43%) are most likely to use the internet in their bedrooms.
The report also found that the usage of social media is on the rise with children aged 8-11 having an average of 92 online friends and children aged 12-15 having an average of 286 friends. Most of the children surveyed revealed that they had not met around one in four of their online friends.
Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said:
“Ofcom’s latest research shows that children’s take-up and use of different media is growing at a rapid pace, with some areas such as texting and smartphone ownership fast outstripping the general population. However, children are not just using more media, they are also adopting some forms at a very young age. This highlights the challenge that some parents face in keeping up with their children when it comes to technology and in understanding what they can do to protect children.”
The report found that parents use a variety of approaches to mediate their children’s internet use. These include regularly talking to their children about staying safe online, technical controls, and rules relating to parental supervision Eighty-five per cent of parents use at least one of these approaches, with twenty per cent using all three.