UK Regulator Ofcom Says 2019 Was The Age Of Digital Independence For Kids

Posted by at 9:04 am on February 3, 2020

The amount of young phone owners doubled between the ages of nine and 10, which Ofcom calls “the age of digital independence“.

In addition, 24% of 3 and 4-year-olds had their own tablet, and 15% of them were allowed to take it to bed.

Ofcom’s annual report looks at the media habits of children, and the types of devices they are using.

The 2019 study was based on more than 3,200 interviews with children and parents around the UK.

Other Key Findings

  • 48% of girls aged 5-15 played online games, compared with 71% of boys. Boys spent twice as long playing, clocking up 14.5 hours per week, compared with 7.5 for girls
  • Snapchat and Facebook remained the most popular social media platforms of older children, but 62% were also using WhatsApp (up from 43% in 2018)
  • 99% of children aged 5-15 used a TV set, 27% used a smart speaker and 22% used a radio
  • 80% of the children in the report watched video-on-demand, and 25% watched no live broadcast TV at all. One nine-year-old girl told researchers: “I don’t really like the TV because you can’t pick what channels are on it”.

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