Children in the
For the first time, fewer children also have online social media profiles. Compared to last year, 12-15s are much less likely to say they have a profile on any device (68% vs 81%). The mix of social media used by children is evolving. While nearly all 12-15s with an active online profile continue to use
On the wider internet, schoolwork is the most mentioned internet activity carried out at least weekly by 8-11s (75%), followed by games (54%) and finding information (45%). These children are much more likely than last year to use the internet weekly for telephone or video calls (10%, up from 5%) or for going to photo-sharing websites (5%, from 2%).
Ofcom said the proportion of younger children (8-11) owning a basic mobile phone (not a smartphone) fell to 15 percent from 28 percent last year. Among this age group, 18 percent now own a smartphone, and 18 percent own a tablet computer. While the smartphone figure is largely stable year-on-year, tablet ownership has grown four-fold among 8-11s since last year (from 4%).
The study shows that younger and older children have different priorities when it comes to connected devices. Older children (12-15) still use smartphones more than tablets. Around 62 percent own a smartphone, unchanged since last year, but 26 percent now own a tablet computer, from 7 percent last year. The use of tablets has tripled among 5-15s to 41 percent from 14 percent in 2012. One quarter (28%) of infants aged 3-4 now use a tablet computer at home. Tablet usage among 5-7 year olds advanced to 39 percent from 11 percent, while among 8-11 year olds, it lifted to 44 percent from 13 percent.
Children are more likely to turn to the tablet when accessing the internet at home. The proportion of children mainly using a laptop, netbook or desktop computer fell to 68 percent, from 85 percent in 2012. Twice as many children as last year are mainly using other devices to go online, with tablets (13%) and mobiles (11%) the most popular choices. Kids use tablets for watching audio-visual content and playing games; older children mainly use smartphones to communicate.
Children with smartphones send an estimated 184 instant messages (IM) in a typical week. Teenagers (12-15) send on average 255 text messages per week, up from 193 last year. Around one in five 8-11s (17%) now say they mostly use the internet in their bedroom, from 12% in 2012.
The number of TVs in the bedroom has fallen to 52 percent (from 59%), as did the number of games console in their bedroom. The number of 5-15s using tablets to play games rose to 23 percent from 7 percent. Although children still love TV programming, they are more likely to watch programmes on devices other than a TV. Nearly half (45%) of children aged 5-15 are doing so, from 34 percent.
The majority of parents say they know enough to keep their child safe online, but around half (47%) continue to feel that their child knows more about the internet than they do. Parents of 5-15s monitor their child's internet use by talking about staying safe online (79%), having rules about parental supervision (53%) or using some kind of technology (62%). More than four in ten (43%) of parents of 5-15s who use a home PC, laptop or netbook to go online say they have some kind of parental controls in place. Although 18 percent of internet users aged 12-15 say they know how to change online filters or controls, only 6 percent say they have done so in the past year.
One in four parents (24%) of 5-15 year old internet users is concerned about cyberbullying, while one in seven (14%) said they were concerned about their child cyberbullying somebody else.
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