Ofcom released their “Children and parents: media use and attitudes report 2018” at the end of February. It examines children’s media literacy and provides detailed evidence on media use, attitudes and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, as well as about the media access and use of young children aged 3-4.
The report has identified some interesting changes in how the internet is used, with TV viewing being an area of rapid change. Half of all 5-15s now watch OTT (Over the top) television services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Now TV.
YouTube is becoming the viewing platform of choice, with rising popularity particularly among 8-11s. Within this, vloggers are an increasingly important source of content and creativity.
With these changing trends in mind, it is important for us to evaluate our roles as internet users. We regularly tell children that they should not share their personal details online yet many of us openly share our information as part of a profile on social media; we advise children not to talk to strangers and never to arrange to meet people that we have met online, yet in the adult world, one in three marriages now starts online. Today’s children live in a technology-fuelled world and we have a responsibility to prepare them for the future with up to date and relevant information and skills that will empower and safeguard them online.
Visit https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers for help and advice.
1 OTT (or ‘over the top’) refers to audio-visual content delivered on the ‘open’ internet rather than over a managed IPTV architecture.