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Smartphones, one in four children between the ages of 5 and 7 owns one

Smartphones and tablets are increasingly popular, not only among young people, but also among children: according to a new Ofcom study (Office of Communicationsthe independent regulator for communications companies in the UK), approx one in four, between five and seven years old, owns a smartphone, and three quarters use a tablet or computer.

In its annual report on children and the online world, Ofcom reported that the number of children aged between five and seven on the Internet to send messages or make voice and video calls increased by 6% compared to last year, reaching 65%. Half watch live streaming content, while last year the percentage stood at 39%.

AND It is increasingly common for children to also use social media: 38% of them do so, despite these sites requiring users to be at least 13 years old to create an account. On the other hand, according to the survey, only a third of parents know the minimum age requirements for using the platforms. And, if 42% of parents say they use social media with their children, 32% admit that children use them alone. The number of parents willing to allow their children to have a profile on social media before reaching the minimum age requirement also increased from 25% to 30%.

«While parents' concerns increase considerably, compliance with the rules appears to decrease», explains the report, «in part perhaps due to resignation about their ability to intervene in online life of their children.”

For many years, Ofcom has asked itself “whether parents believe that the benefits of their children's online browsing outweigh the risks. And when we changed the question in 2022, separating out gaming, social media, and being online more generally, we saw that parents viewed gaming and their children's social media use as more risky than beneficial, while 57% of parents of children aged between 5 and 15 think that being online in general is a good thing».

Source: Vanity Fair

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