RS Components asked parents around the UK their thoughts on kids and technology. The survey included a series of questions that covered the amount of time they thought their kids spent on different devices, the appropriateness of different social media platforms, if they used parental controls and whether they checked their children's devices. 

Children are spending, on average, 3 and a half hours on their smartphones a day, however parents across the UK think their children are spending an average of 1 hour 18 minutes - that’s a difference of over 2 hours. Almost half (47%) of the parents asked agreed that children spend too much time online.

Despite children spending an average of 7 hours a day using technology, 43% of parents would not ask their children for help when it comes to using the internet or tech devices.

When it comes to safety online, parents across the UK expressed more concern for girls than boys, with over a quarter (26%) of parents agreeing that girls are more vulnerable online. Nevertheless, only 14% of parents admitted to regularly checking their child's devices and social media without their knowledge and 61% of parents said they had never checked. 

The majority of parents believed that 11-12 was the right age for children to have a smartphone and personal laptop, however parents thought ages 6-8 was the right age for children to have a games console.

See how parents ranked the appropriateness of different social media platforms below:

Rank (most to least appropriate)

Social Media Platform

% of parents that said it was very appropriate 

1st

Youtube

14.8%

2nd

Playstation Network

12.3%

3rd

Xbox Live

11.5%

4th

Whatsapp

9.7%

5th

Skype

7.9%

6th

Snapchat

4.0%

7th

Facebook

3.6%

8th

Instagram

3.3%

9th

Twitter

2.7%

10th

Twitch/Tumblr

2.4%

Generation Z’s views 

Generation Z are the most prominent users of social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, therefore seeing their opinion about how kids use tech showed some interesting results.

32% of people ages 16-24 agreed that girls are more vulnerable and negatively impacted by social media than boys, however only 12% of 16-24 year olds think that age limits for social media accounts should be higher for girls.

What’s more, 48% of 16-24 year olds strongly disagree that boys and girls should be treated differently when it comes to access to social media.

Although, the generation that uses social media the most have expressed concern for girls online, they don’t agree that treating genders differently online will stop girls being targeted. 

Parents across the UK

71% of parents in Norwich have a parental control system set up on their child’s devices, which is the highest figure across the UK. However, the city with the lowest figure is Edinburgh, with 38% of parents admitting to not having any parental controls on their children’s devices.

80% of parents in Cardiff don’t use a tracking software to see where their child is, which is the highest figure for any city. Parents in Liverpool are expressing the most interest in seeing where their children are, with 21% planning to set up some sort of tracking software on their kids devices.

Alexandra Berger 100x100Alexandra Berger, Senior Vice President Marketing & Communications, at RS Components comments:

“For parents, it is really important to be able to contact their children whenever they need to, and in this day and age, where technology is at the forefront of all communications, it’s so easy to speak to someone in seconds. However, with child safety online being a well debated topic it is surprising to see that only 14% of parents admitted to regularly checking their child's devices.

“Nevertheless, phones and tablets are being incorporated into classrooms and used as tools to help kids learn and progress through their education which shows the benefits of technology and how it can work well with kids.

“It goes without saying that parents are keen to monitor their kids' movements and screen time to keep them safe, so it’s paramount that kids are getting the right balance between staying safe online but also making full use of the amazing technology available to them.”

Do you think your children are safe online? See how parents in your city are monitoring their children's devices:

 

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