Children 'switching from TV to mobile internet'
This article from the BBC, which reports the findings of a UK survey, shows a very real and very disturbing trend. As the title of the article suggests, the children of today are watching less television than their generational counterparts did years ago, and instead have replaced it with mobile internet. For those who are interested, there is a link to the BBC article at the end of the post; there is no link to the survey because I am responding directly to the BBC article that has reported the findings of the survey.
Although the findings here are based solely on data from the UK (interviews carried out in autumn 2011), the increased use of mobiles and mobile internet among children is not a trend indigenous to the UK. Of the various impacts of globalization across the world, one of particular importance is the increased similarity of youth cultures. So, even though this article and survey is from the UK perspective, it does bear relevance to other countries as well.
Over 2,000 children were interviewed for this survey, and they spend an average of 1.6 hours a day on their mobiles; 32% admitted to using their mobiles at night, in bed. Ten years ago, the concern parents had was with televisions in their children's bedrooms; today, televisions have been replaced by computers and as the technology improves exponentially it has become common for children to have laptops of their own. Many people have expressed concerns regarding the impact social networks and mobile texting have had on teenagers and their social interactions with the world; the findings of this study do not directly address these issues but do provide sufficient evidence of the predominance of these methods of social communication.
1.6 hours a day spent on a mobile. 32% still using their mobiles when in bed at night. 61% with mobile internet access. 51% admit to using Facebook. Most find it easier to send a text message than locate a phone number. More than 75% of secondary-age students use their mobiles to go online. Before school, after school, dare I say at school - mobiles and internet are the primary focus. Even if children read at home, it is probably on a screen of some sort instead of a book (or even a magazine, which to my generation was hardly considered reading).
In a nutshell, children's lives revolve around and can be found on their mobiles.
Oh, and did I mention the ages of these 2,770 children involved in this survey?
Ages five to sixteen.