Just 18% of children would miss TV most, compared to mobile (28%) and Internet (25%), finds Ofcom research
A new research by communications watchdog Ofcom has revealed that more young British teenagers can do without TV but not without mobile and the Internet.
Ofcom research found that just 18% of children aged 12 to 15 would miss TV most, compared to mobile (28%) and the Internet (25%). However, the research suggests that the teenagers are also watching more TV than ever before, with viewing figures increasing by 2 hours since 2007.
In 2010, children aged 4-15 watched an average of 17 hours and 34 minutes of TV per week, compared with 15 hours and 37 minutes in 2007. Nearly one third (31%) of children aged 5-15 who use the Internet are watching TV via an online catch-up service such as the BBC iPlayer or ITV Player, said Ofcom.
Ofcom’s research said that 95% of 12-15 year olds now have Internet access at home through a PC or laptop, up from 89% in 2010 and 77% in 2007.
Social networking is still one of the most popular uses of the Internet amongst 12-15s. Ofcom said that children are visiting social network sites more often on their mobiles. Half (50%) of 12-15s with a smartphone visit them weekly compared with 33% in 2010.
Children aged between 8-11 are more likely to use Internet for gaming, with 51% saying they play games online on a weekly basis, up from 44% in 2010. 8-11s are also spending more time playing on games players/ consoles compared with 2010 (9 hours 48 minutes – an increase of nearly 2 hours), said Ofcom.
The research also reveals that in some areas parents of children who use the Internet at home are increasing their supervision and protection. Over half (54%) of parents of 5-15s supervise their child in some way when they’re online – up from 48% in 2010. And four in ten (39%) parents say that Internet controls or filtering software are fitted, rising to 59% when asked about specific controls such as ‘safe search’ and YouTube safety mode.
For mobile phones, one in three (31%) parents whose child has a Web enabled mobile has limited their access to exclude websites aimed at those aged 18 or over, said the Ofcom research.
Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards said the almost universal use of the Internet at home by 12-15s – both for their education as well as their entertainment – is a positive step forward.
"The research also shows that parents and children are increasingly aware of how to be safe when using the internet. But risks do remain. Better understanding – amongst parents as well as their children – is key to helping people to manage content and communications, enabling them to enjoy the benefits of media use while protecting themselves from the potential risks," said Richards.