The UK watchdog pointed out that tablet computers have replaced the TV-set in the bedroom as the must-have gadget for kids. According to Ofcom, more than 30% of children aged from 5 to 15 own a personal tablet.
The statistics collected by the local media and telecoms regulator found out that the number of children owning a tablet instead of using parent’s device rose from 19% to 34% within a year. More than 60% of children use a tablet at home in 2014, while this number was only 50% last year. At the same time, the number of children with TV sets in their bedrooms has dropped by 1/3 in 5 years.
Some experts admit that tablets are just an affordable alternative. Indeed, we can see that tablet use has expanded for all age groups over the last few years, because they turned out to be an affordable alternative to a personal computer, as they cost under $150 at major retailers.
For example, in the United Kingdom, Tesco and Argos spotted the trend last year and introduced their own brand tablets that are available for under $150. Tesco revealed that 750,000 of its Hudl tablets have been sold in the past 12 months.
According to the research firm eMarketer, over 24.5 million tablet users are expected to be in Britain in 2014. As for the popular brands, Apple’s iPad dominates, making up half of the tablets sold. The statistics also revealed that the number of children aged from 5 to 15 using a tablet to go on the Internet has doubled within the last 12 months and now accounts for 42%. At the same time, use of personal computers for Internet access has dropped by 3% to 88%. It is also known that PC sales have steadily decreased over the last 3 years, with tablets and other mobile devices gaining popularity.
The tablets are not only used for going online. Children use them for a range of other activities: for example, 30% of them play games, 20% watch live TV, and 33% watch on-demand TV on them.
Other experts point out that social media also plays a large part in Internet use for teenagers. At the moment, 71% of children aged from 12 to 15 have a social media profile on Facebook, Twitter or another social network. The interesting fact is that girls are more likely to have an Instagram, SnapChat or Tumblr account than boys in that age range, while boys mostly prefer YouTube – the statistics says that boys are more than twice as likely to use the popular streaming service.
The UK regulator also discovered that almost 85% of parents directly supervise activities of their children on the Internet and 82% have set rules regarding Internet access by children. More than 50% of parents also use various instruments to manage their children’s online behavior on tablets and other devices: they include Internet filters, password protection and anti-virus software.
More than 75% of adults believe they know enough about the worldwide web and how it works to protect their children. However, almost half of parents admit that their children (especially teenagers) know more about the Internet than they do.