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Social networks, new competitors of toys and games

Children are increasingly becoming members of social networks

  • Key4Communications

Children stop playing with toys earlier now than ten or twenty years ago. Nowadays kids tend to leave behind traditional toys when they are about 8-11 years old, opting for videogames instead. But now, both videogames and toys have a new competitor for children’s leisure time: social networks.

According to the Global Consumer Technology Use and Security Study, children start using social network sites like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter at an average age of 12, although many of these services prohibit access under 14. Moreover, in Brazil the average age is 9.

The survey commissioned by Trend Micro also reflects the concern of parents about this fact, and explains that three of every four families control the internet use by their children. In fact, 51% of parents believe that their kids make a responsible use of the web, and 76% said they are friends of their children in these networks.

17% of parents have bought a smartphone for their children, being 13 years the average age of children receiving these devices. Brazil is once more the country where this trend is more pronounced (27%), while Japan showed the lowest percentage (5%). 86% of parents explained that they had given instructions to their children about how to use these phones responsibly.

The research was conducted in Australia, Brazil, France, India, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States, and counted with the participation of 1,419 parents.

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