Kids Watching Less TV But Spending Close To 4 Hours On Mobile Devices

Shreya Jagdish

A new research has found that while kids and teenagers are watching less tv they are spending an increasing amount of time on mobile devices. 

The research done by U.S-based Common Sense Media also showed that 11 years-old, a majority (53%) of kids have their own smartphone, and, nearly one in five 8-year olds (19%) have their own smartphone—an increase from 11% in 2015.

And this might be the same for Singapore where it is now a common sight to see young kids glued to smartphones and tablets.

In fact, a study by Google earlier this year found that children in Singapore get their first mobile device at 8, making them the youngest smartphone users in the world. 

screen time parents

Image source: Pexels

More Kids Watching YouTube

Just four years ago, the TV was still a popular platform for kids shows but now apps like YouTube have overthrown the TV to become the primary source of entertainment for the new generation.

The research pointed out that an average teenager now watches 24 minutes of TV and spends more than 7 hours on entertainment screen media—not including computers at school or using computers for homework.

As for online video-sharing giant YouTube, 76% of kids between the ages of 8 to 12 years old use the site despite not being the required age of 13. 

56% of this same age group is also said to watch videos every day for 25 minutes to an hour, double the amount since 2015. 

Findings Are ‘Worrisome Indicators’

According to James P. Seyer, founder, and CEO of Common sense, the new findings are a big problem.

“The study shows worrisome indicators as our most vulnerable population—our kids—are spending a lot of time on unregulated, unrated platforms that deliver content that can be inappropriate or even dangerous. And the shift from TV to online viewing means kids are often watching content alone.”

Internet Safety Guidelines 

Here in Singapore, the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore is also concerned over the massive rise in smartphone devices among the young people in the country. 

In order to combat problems like cyber-bullying and exposure to inappropriate content, the agency has released guidelines to internet safety for parents

Some of them include follows: 

  • Set rules.

Keep the computer in a common area of the home (e.g. the living room) or set rules that your children must use their computer in a common area. Limit their time on it as well.

  • Be proactive.

If you’re still not sure if your child is old enough to visit a certain site, go to a site valuation portal (like Commonsense Media), look for the site and see if it’s appropriate for them.

Ensure you follow these helpful guidelines, parents! 

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