Anyone who spends time around today's generation of kids knows children are becoming more and more adept at using technology. Thanks to a new report from Influence Central called "Kids & Tech: The Evolution of Today's Digital Natives," we now know why.
The most startling finding from the extensive report is how early children are being indoctrinated into the world of smartphones. The average age that a child gets their own smartphone is 10.3 years old, the study found.
In an analysis of the findings, TechCrunch notes that some studies found that the age is as young as 6 or 7 years old. However, Influence Central CEO Stacy DeBroff maintains the veracity of the report's findings, and notes that one of the questions in their survey was "If you purchased a smartphone/cell phone for your child, what age was the child?"
Another alarming finding was that 64% of kids have access to the internet via their own portable devices. It’s a massive paradigm shift from generations past, where kids surfed the net on their families' heavily monitored communal computers, if in fact they went online at all. For example, in 2012, 85% of children accessed the internet in a room shared with their families. That number dropped 76% in 2016, while 24% of kids have private access to the internet, up from 15% in 2012.
The study found that the upward trend is due to the increasingly relaxed attitudes of parents, who are constantly upgrading their own phone models and passing down their old phones to their children.
What this means on a larger sociological scale remains to be seen, but if smartphone addiction is a real affliction among adults, there’s no reason why it won’t affect children as well. One thing’s for sure: What it means to be a kid will never be the same again.
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