There is no doubt that technology dictates our lives these days. Kids are leading the way.
Consumers Ofcom continue to assess how we use technology and their report last year will fuel criticism. It seems young children are introduced to technology at a very early age and some are concerned about how this affects the ability to interact socially.
It’s no wonder adults often refer to their kids for technology help. Our youngsters start their technology education at a very early age. A third of 4 – 5 year olds are already familiar with the internet before they get to school. They access it via PCs, laptops and tablets.
Most are familiar with Smartphones often pacified in adult surroundings by access to a parent’s phone to play games.
Scarily almost 50% of children aged between 5 – 15 had a social networking profile. Even though many sites don’t allow access until kids are 13 or more i.e. Facebook.
It increases to 80% in 12 to 15 category with profiles. They have an average of 280 ‘friends’, 25% of whom they’ve never met! Much of their social networking is connected via their Smartphones of course.
In the 12 – 15 age bracket, about 66% have their own Smartphones. This allows them to access the Internet at all times and is reflected in access rising by 40% (2011 – 2012).
Note: Kids under the age of 18 cannot take out a mobile phone contract or phone insurance but their parents can do it on their behalf.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that teenagers send the most texts – they’re always on their phones right? Girls in this age group send an amazing 32 a day on average. Boys are a little more constrained sending an average of 23 texts every day. About 40% of kids in this age group already claim that their mobile phone is the thing they’d miss most if they had to give up any technological device.
Without going into parental control issues, we wanted to make sure that everything is in place to keep costs for parents down! Once your youngsters have got used to having a Smartphone you will never hear the last of it if it gets damaged or lost. They won’t be able to function without it! Accidents can and do happen so you need to make sure you have insurance in place.
Mum or Dad can take out insurance on their kids’ phones as an additional phone on their policy. The same terms and conditions apply to your kids’ phones as to yours. You might need to impress upon them – especially the younger ones – the simple ‘rules’.
- Treat it with care – its an expensive piece of equipment
- Don’t leave it lying around
- Or lend it to your friends
- Keep it safe and always know where it is
These are good for starters and with your phone insurance in place, all should be well.
By Rob Rudd
Rob Rudd is well aware if the risks of children and social media. His 11 year old daughter has a smart phone, a table, and 2 social media accounts and it is a constant struggle to police them all.