You may have seen the interesting research data that we recently produced about kids and technology. Three years ago, AVG set out to document the changing relationship between children and technology in the digital age.
The first stage, which gave rise to the name ‘Digital Diaries’, asked parents around the world at what age they expose their children to the web, what we now call a ‘digital footprint’.
Three years later and we have just asked over 6,000 parents across 10 countries questions about their kids up to the age of nine.
I have been fortunate enough to chat to concerned and like-minded individuals, bloggers and journalists in five of the countries surveyed. I have written down my key learnings in a handy eBook which you can download here.
In Brazil, for example, we held roundtable event on child internet safety and used AVG’s research results to spark some debate.
Brazil’s survey results in my opinion were unique and contained some startling numbers. Did you know that, according to their parents, 54% of 6-9 year olds in Brazil have a Facebook account?
When you consider that the minimum legal age for a Facebook account is 13+, it begs the question whether these kids are being exposed to unsuitable content on social networks. We should also ask whether kids of this age should be communicating on social networks at all.
In Germany and France the results showed that the balance between online and offline activities were much more balanced. For example 63% in France and 34% of 3-5 year olds in Germany can play a basic online computer game while 57% and 59% can ride a bike.
I think that this shows that kids are being encouraged to pursue traditional offline activities as well as exciting online ones. Well done France and Germany.
When it comes to the UK and USA, as you would expect there are many similarities in the results gathered.
If we look at what kids are doing online the ability to play that basic online game comes in at a huge 81% and 73% respectively. Yet when we look at bike riding the number are lower at 51% and 49%, so the divide between online and offline is activities is greater.
Its important as parents that we understand how to keep our kids safe online while at the same time giving them a good balance of offline activities allowing them to experience both sides equally. The Internet is an awesome tool but remember so is the park.
If you’d like to learn more about how to parenting in the Internet age, you might find my book ‘One Parent to Another’ interesting, its free and you can download it here.
February 10, 2014