Children have their own smartphone at an early age, and many also have their own TV. Most can hardly imagine life without the Internet.
As the Bitkom study "Children and Adolescents in the Digital World" (1) from spring 2019 showed, the smartphone is clearly in the favor of younger children – only tablets are more widespread among the under 8 year olds. Above all, it should be a toy replacement that takes up little space and can be taken anywhere by the parents. The distribution of tablets largely stagnates at a level of 40 percent and is rapidly overtaken by smartphones from the age of nine.
WhatApp in front, Facebook beaten off
Unsurprisingly, WhatsApp is of paramount importance as a messenger for children and adolescents of all ages. The younger ones also use TikTok, young people from the age of 14 also use Instagram and Snapchat. Facebook has no special meaning in any age group. According to a representative study by the German Institute for Trust and Security on the Internet (DIVSI) among 14 to 24 year olds (2) in 2018, over 60 percent of those surveyed even thought WhatsApp to be indispensable; YouTube follows at some distance – 16 percent do not want to miss the video platform.
If the little ones are only on the Internet, they will soon know their way around better than their parents: They use apps that the parents have never heard of – and the latter of which do not know whether they should allow use. Grooming, bullying and rip-off pose real risks that parents and children should deal with. c't has summarized in one focus how you can prepare yourself and your children for internet use. The article Safe with Restrictions shows in concrete terms how parents can make their loved ones' mobile devices and channels childproof; much can already be done with on-board equipment.
TV in the children's room
According to the Bitkom study, the use of PCs and notebooks starts around later. After all, 50 percent of 12-year-olds already have their own computer. This is probably due to the school, i.e. the now widespread use of IT in secondary schools and promotional measures introduced some time ago, such as the so-called notebook classes.
The Bitkom study "Children and Adolescents in the Digital World", 915 participants (6 to 18 years), which was carried out by Bitkom Research on behalf of the digital association Bitkom in March / April 2019, also revealed a surprising result: 50 percent of all 12 year olds own a flat screen TV!
Never offline again
Many young people cannot imagine life without the Internet: 68 percent of those aged 14 to 24 in the DIVSI study want to stay online. This is a slight decrease of 5 percent compared to 2014 – at the same time the number of those who have concerns about the omnipotence of the web increased. 41 percent of 14 to 24-year-olds said that they would be afraid that in the future a lot can only be done via the web.
Unfortunately, young people do not only experience beautiful things when they are active on the Internet. The clear majority of young people receive annoying spam emails (65 percent), many have already been insulted via the online channels (27 percent) or bullied (14 percent). And they also know the dark side of the constant online presence: 25 percent felt disturbed by the fact that others know what they are doing or where they are. Passing on personal data to third parties annoys them just as much as losing personal data (12 or 10 percent).
Parents can provide support here by strengthening the media literacy of children and adolescents. The c't article Understanding instead of forbidding provides tools and rules for the whole family.
(2) DIVSI U25 study, representative: yes, 1730 participants (ages 14 to 24) carried out by the German Institute for Trust and Security on the Internet (DIVSI), May / June 2018, DIVSI was funded by Deutsche Post. (After Deutsche Post ended its financial commitment to the institute, DIVSI was dissolved at the end of 2018.)
. (TagsToTranslate) Bitkom (t) cyberbullying (t) DIVSI (t) Grooming (t) Internet use (t) Child Protection (t) smartphones (t) WhatsApp