It’s uncommon to go to a restaurant or even a park nowadays and see a child under 18 without some sort of mobile device monopolizing his or her attention. Whether it’s a teenager texting or snap-chatting, a nine year old playing a game, or a four year old watching a show, it’s hard to deny that kids everywhere are constantly bombarded with device distraction in the most public of spaces. It’s not just young children anymore; infants are also exposed to mobile devices more often than one may think. A study published this week by the Journal of Pediatrics online edition shows that nearly 50 percent of kids under the age of one are using a mobile device for 20 minutes per day, and nearly 80 percent by the time they are two years old.
When are parents letting their children immerse themselves in these devices? 70 percent say they do so when a child does their chores, 65 percent to keep their child calm in public places, 58 percent to run errands, and 28 percent to put their child to sleep.
Another study that came out this week from Common Sense Media found that the average teen spends 9 hours a day with media and technology, not counting their school work. According to James Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense Media,
This shows you that kids spend more time with technology than they do with their parents, time in school, or any other thing.”
To some degree, mobile devices are also starting to replace television. In fact, a recent article published on MobileFOMO showed that 36% of people watch videos five minutes or longer on their phones daily or more frequently. Researchers from the Journal of Pediatrics wrote:
On average, children spent 45 minutes a day watching television, 27 minutes watching television shows or videos on a mobile device, 22 minutes using apps on a mobile device, and 15 minutes playing games on a video console.”
These studies didn’t attempt to find out whether this heavy use of computers, smartphones and tablets is beneficial for children, but researchers noted that it’s important to find out.
Source: Common Sense Media