Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Children and their Internet Usage

There's a study that just came out regarding how children are using different media sources. It showed that almost 80% of children under the age of 5 use the internet at least once a week! This figure surprised the heck out of me, but as I looked further I realized it's because I was thinking inside the box. These kids aren't using the internet the same way I do. I use the internet for Facebook, e-mail, research, etc. but children are mainly watching videos. The internet for them is almost like an extension of the television.

If kids are using the internet at such an early age, imagine all the possible things they could do. They're not stuck learning Spanish from Sesame Street - they can play "intellectually stimulating" games that teach them language, math, working out puzzles, anything really!

The thing that ended up surprising me most was that these kids apparently still love physical books: "It is important to mention that even in an era of widespread electronic-screen exposure, print remains a constant in children’s media diets, although it varies dramatically by age. About 90% of kids 5-to-9-years-old read books most days of the week, and they spend about an hour per day doing so, either reading by themselves or being read to by an adult." Do you think this is by choice or is this something parents are pushing on their children?


  1. Regarding the kids + physical book reading for an hour--is that taking place in school, do you think? The stat is cited in the report but I am too lazy to search for the "Sesame Workshop utilization study."
    I'm curious also, since days aren't magically getting longer, I wonder what is getting cut from kids' lives in the time that is now filled with technology and Webkinz. I haven't been a kid for a while so I can't remember how I passed my days...staring at walls maybe?

  2. I notice our kids are usually spending more time with their computers after we had our cheap cable internet installed. I was just wondering, how much time should we allow our kids to browse the net?