Kids are Connected More than Ever Before. Is This the New Normal?

By on 05-27-2020

Our 2020 report on apps and digital natives answers that question and gives parents expert tips to help their families thrive in a hyper-connected world.

By the start of 2020, before the coronavirus lockdowns, children were spending more time online than ever before. Doctors, psychologists and even the creators of apps themselves, were sounding alarms about online privacy, safety and wellbeing. Tech companies, often in response to the threat of legislation, began to show concern too by creating tools to help manage screen time and by adding more controls related to child privacy and online safety.

A few months ago, Qustodio published a Digital Wellbeing report to help families understand those issues and deal with them. We had also started work on an all new report on Apps and Digital Natives to help parents really understand what kids were doing with all that extra time online. Then along came Covid-19 and the growing trends in screen time went through the roof – up more than 200%.  Our new report tells the full story.  

Today, on average a child in the U.S. watches nearly 100 minutes of YouTube per day, a child in the U.K. spends nearly 70 minutes on TikTok per day, a child in Spain plays Roblox over 90 minutes a day, and 100% more children everywhere are spending time learning online. 

All of those devices and all of that extra time online means more exposure to potentially inappropriate, dangerous or addictive content and to predators. It also means doing less of other things that are essential to children’s mental and physical health such as exercise, sleep and real human contact.

Let’s be honest, the world is not going to return to the way things were, because screen-time rates were already increasing, Covid-19 has just accelerated the process. But there is hope for greater safety and balance if more families can make good choices. Qustodio’s parental control features and the information in our report about Apps and Digital Natives can help families achieve it in 2020, the most connected year ever, and beyond.

Here are a few tips you can use right away!

EXPERT ADVICE FOR DIGITAL PARENTS 

Summary of main advice from Qustodio experts (psychologist, doctors, lawyers and technology and wellbeing specialists) for today’s hyper-connected digital families.

  1. Tear down the walls between you and your kids by co-watching online videos and co-playing video games whenever possible.
  2. Turn screens off 1 hour before bedtime to avoid blue light and improve sleep quality. Screen-time should never replace sleep time.
  3. Balance screen-time with adequate movement and exercise. Screen-time should not take the place of being physically active. Get at least 60 minutes or more a day of vigorous activity
  4. Be aware that most online video, gaming and social media platforms are designed to be addictive. Setting screen-time limits is key. Take a screen break every 45 minutes. 
  5. Point out positive role models on social media your child could follow, and make sure to be one yourself.
  6. Keep video game consoles in common areas of the house…

Get more tips and discover our insights on children's digital habits by checking out the full report “Connected More than Ever: Apps & Digital Natives, the new normal”.

Georgie Powell

Georgie is Founder of Sentient Digital, a Responsible Technology & Digital Wellbeing Consultancy, working with organisations to build strategies and products which have a positive impact on their teams and the world.  She has worked with start-ups building Digital Wellbeing products, and is our UK ambassador.

Following a career in strategy consulting and then at Google,  she was a pioneer in digital wellbeing, co-founding one of the early screentime apps, SPACE.  Georgie now works with researchers around the world to better understand the relationship between technology and humans.  She is a recognised expert & and speaker on Digital Wellbeing, committed to helping millions of people consciously connect with technology. 

La newsletter Consigli per genitori smart di Qustodio è stata concepita per aiutarti a essere un genitore informato e crescere i tuoi ragazzi nell'era digitale con un po' più di tranquillità. Niente allarmismi ne tendenze, solo i consigli migliori da parte di veri esperti.

Ricevi una consulenza mensile da parte di esperti iscrivendoti alla nostra newsletter Consigli per genitori smart.