Parents Voice Concerns Around Kids' Mobile Time - eMarketer

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Parents Voice Concerns Around Kids' Mobile Time

Fathers allow more mobile time than mothers

September 22, 2015

Mobile is not only for adults—children and teens are increasingly connected to the digital world. And according to an August 2015 survey from science-based mobile game– Galxyz, US parents are concerned about how much time their kids are spending with mobile devices—but still willing to grant mobile usage to their children.

Level of Concern About Their Child's Time Spent Using Mobile Devices for Noneducational Purposes Among US Parent Internet Users, Aug 2015 (% of respondents)

Of parents surveyed, 23% reported they were very concerned about their kids' noneducational mobile usage, and another 35% expressed some level of concern.

Fathers appeared generally less concerned, with 48% responding that they allowed their child to use a mobile device for 2 to 3 hours daily, whereas only 32% of mothers allowed the same amount of usage.

Usage parents determine to be “educational” might assuage those concerns—and can span a variety of activities, according to parents. The most common response was not surprising: homework and research clocked in at 95%. But 90% of respondents also listed digital games with educational purposes as a useful pursuit, along with visiting educational websites and reading books.

Digital Activities that Are Useful for Their Child's Educational Development According to US Parent Internet Users, by Age of Child, Aug 2015 (% of respondents)

About half of parent internet users believed surfing the internet can be useful, and a little under half believe watching videos for entertainment purposes or playing games for the same reason is justified. At 21%, least useful according to respondents was social media.

The Galxyz survey also confirmed that parents allow usage of mobile devices for their children at an early age. Nearly two in five respondents said that they allow 3- to 7-year-olds 2 to 3 hours of mobile usage per day, while 19% of 13- to 17-year-olds are granted 4 or more hours of mobile per day. Add to that very broad definitions of "educational," and parents seem to be creating a new generation of very active mobile users.

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