As society hurtles towards its increasingly digital future, we all have to accept that children are starting their journey into the online world at a much younger age than any of us did and experience far fewer barriers (they’ll never know how lucky they are not to hear a dial-up tone).
A business in the UK called LETTERBOX has been looking into the effects that the digital age is having on younger minds and has generated the fascinating infographic below that’s teeming with interesting details.
For example, did you know that there are more than 5 million users below the age of ten on Facebook, despite the minimum age requirement being 13? Of these users, over 200,000 of them are aged six or younger. These statistics and others listed below all point to the incredible fact that the average age for a child to start regularly consuming online media is now only 8-years-old.
One major aspect is Cyber Bullying, covered in the infographic under a subheading of Kids a Cruel. Speak Up for Change has covered issues like Cyber Bullying through our Workshop Series.
Some of the statistics covered in our infographic may seem shocking, but they’re not necessarily doom and gloom statistics. LETTERBOX realizes that the future of entertainment is increasingly becoming screen-based, but LETTERBOX believes there can be a healthy balance between traditional entertainment and online interaction in your child’s life.
Talking to mothers of young children, LETTERBOX found that the online safety of youngsters is a very common worry. Amelia Henderson, a 34-year-old mother from Kent shared her own concerns:
“My nine-year-old was so insistent that she wanted a Facebook account, but I was so worried about her signing up. I’m glad to see from this research that my concerns are a common challenge for young people online,” she said. “Children’s tablets and other online parental tools are giving me the confidence that the web can be safe.”
One innovation LETTERBOX is planning to bring into their collection is the Kurio children’s tablet computer. This 7-inch Android powered device features extensive and easily configurable parental settings. These can control when and for how long the tablet can be used, what can be viewed online, which apps can be accessed and many other aspects. The Kurio isn’t a dumbed down child’s tablet, but is a fully featured device that has been designed and optimised for a younger audience.
LETTERBOX still strongly believe that traditional values are an important part of every childhood, even with the surge in interactive media and online interaction outlined in this infographic. Our collection will always include traditional fun such as doll houses, learning toys, outdoor games and so much more to keep children’s playful imaginations as bright as they always have been.