If you did not see it coming you obviously do not have much more contact with children. Norton Symantec has conducted a ‘My First Device’ survey among more than 7,000 people in ten countries in Europe and the Middle East. The Dutch figures show that children spend an average of less than two hours a day on average, while they spend 2.5 hours on their smartphone or tablet. Joh. Who saw that coming.
In our country children often get a smartphone or tablet around their tenth. That is the age at which parents find that they are allowed to have such a device and then it also starts to become useful as a means of communication. Of the respondents from the survey it appears that half of the children between five (!) And ten years already have a smartphone. Now it could well be that this is purely about ‘age category 5-10 years’ and that almost the whole half consists of 8- and 9-year olds.
Parents give the example
Half of the Dutch parents say they spend too much time online, and that group (plus another fifteen percent of parents who do not find their own behavior excessive) are afraid to the wrong example to their offspring. If mom and dad are also chained to their smartphone for more than half the time it is indeed not surprising that the offspring sees this as perfectly normal behavior.
Although: a previous investigation by the National Academy for Media & Society had also shown that a large number of young people are annoyed to the excessive smartphone use of their parents and often even feel ignored. This conclusion also comes back in this study, because three in ten parents are sometimes referred by their own children to their online behavior. Maybe there is still hope for the new generation, if they can learn themselves not to make the smartphone a central part of their lives. Parents can also play an important role in this.
“We must all be aware of the amount of time we spend online and address the problem of excessive screen time, with parents setting a good example. We have found that 39% of parents in the Netherlands already use ‘tech-free’ time or days in which everyone stays away from their gadgets. This offers a great opportunity to reassess our dependency on devices “ says Robert den Drijver, Regional Director Benelux & Nordics at Norton.