Saturday, November 19, 2011

Kids Smarter than Adults Online?

According to data compiled from the security firm AVG, 11 year old children have "adult skills when it comes to technology". Simply put, children can do anything an adult can do online, repairing a gadget, and solving complex computer problems.

The problem is that parents don't know this. AVG discovered in a parental survey that only 7% even believe that their children are more well-versed on the internet than they are. Even more disturbing are the findings released by AVG in early 2011 that children's life skills pale in comparison to their tech skills. The study showed that 58% of kids between the ages of 2 and 5 can play a computer-based game, yet only 53% can pedal a bicycle. Even though 63% of kids can operate a computer, only 20% can swim without help. 26% can tie their shoelaces.

As children get older and start using the world wide web, these skills can prove very troublesome. For several years parents have been warned of the dangers of the internet and of the importance to monitor computer activity of children in order to limit their exposure to potential dangers. Have parents heeded the advice?

The AVG study revealed that 72% of parents (admitted to) monitoring their children's activities on the internet, yet 41% allow their children to keep internet-connected computers in their bedrooms. This indicates that "there is often no consistent, real-time parental supervision in place".

Even worse, 62% of parents allow their 10-13 year old children to use social networks. Although Facebook's minimum age requirement is 13, 47% of parents of 10-year old children say that they allow their kids to create an account. Increase that 53% for parents of 11-year old children. This behavior can be risky, according to AVG.

Another interesting find from the study is that 43% of 10-13 year old children spend in excess of 2 hours per day text messaging.

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