23 Nov Children and Technology: 5 Facts You Need To Know
Think about your own childhood. Now think about that of your children or your friends’ children. It’s pretty different, right? It’s not rocket science to recognise that technology has played a big role in this change. Today, our children are hyper-connected, digitally savvy individuals with a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips. In this regard, we envy them. But, on the other hand, they are less active and exposed to new, complex pressures that come with growing up in an online world.
Research is starting to suggest that, as our brains are not fully formed until we’re 25 years of age, the influence of technology on the development of children could be greater than anticipated. That’s in addition to more immediate impacts on their well-being and health. Children and technology are a powerful combination. We can teach and inspire the next generation, but we also need to know when to remind them to explore, enjoy nature and be creative offline. The following statistics are a good step towards the reminder we need.
Surprising stats on children and technology
1) Every additional 30 minutes of hand-held screen time is linked to a 49% increased risk of expressive speech delay in children under 2
2) 22% of 12-15 year olds say that binge-watching series has led them to neglect their school work
It’s easy to get sucked into a series, especially when the next episode plays automatically. Great stories are to be enjoyed, but never at the expense of schoolwork or sleep. Staying up late to keep watching a programme has obvious consequences for the next day at school – even when they do close their laptop for the night, the blue light that was emitted from their screen will prevent them from falling asleep easily.
3) Spending one hour a day on social media reduces the probability of a child being completely happy with their life by 14%
4) 63% of school children wouldn’t mind if social media didn’t exist
Think all young people are social media worshipers? Think again. The less positive aspects of social media are starting to become apparent for the young. These include social pressure and cyber bullying. The same survey, commissioned by Digital Awareness UK, concluded that 52% of school children felt less confident in their appearance or in how exciting their life was because of social media.
It’s no longer just a comparison of who’s got the best new pair of kicks in the school yard, there’s a sustained social pressure online from ‘influencers’ to dress, look and live a certain way. Social media is also a hidden channel for bullies and the more sinister to reach our young people, making it more important than ever for us to educate them on cyber safety and encourage them to take breaks from their feeds. And it looks like they’d like us to give them an excuse to do so.
5) 21% of UK children feel their parents don’t listen to them properly because they’re constantly picking up emails, calls or texts on their mobiles
This is quite a sad statistic. Whether it’s our kids or our other half, we’ve all ‘phubbed’ (phone snubbed) someone before. When it comes to children and technology and encouraging them to find balance, we often have to turn to our own tech habits first. Set by example, enjoy tech-free meals and family time together – you’ll find it’s much easier to encourage the kids to log off, if you’re not sat there on your phone!
For the sources, surveys and studies behind these statistics, head to our Digital Detox Facts page – it’s packed with insight into how our digital habits are affecting us. You’ll soon see that there are very few reasons for not trying a digital detox!