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Teenagers text and toddlers use the internet

A generation of technology users
Tue Oct 23 2012, 14:41

BRITAIN'S CHILDREN are spending a lot of time surfing the internet and texting, according to a report from Ofcom and anyone that has ever spent any time around children.

Ofcom says that your average 12 to 15-year old is sending around 193 texts a week, more than twice the number they were sending this time last year. These teenagers, who should probably be taking the bins out or doing homework or something, are sending almost four times as many texts as the average UK citizen. Girls text more often than boys, sending 221 texts a week compared to the lads' 164.

It's not just 12 to 15-year olds either, as 8 to 11-year olds are texting, too. They probably are still playing with yo-yos and reading comics, though, as they send only 41 texts a week. Again though, this is twice as many as they were sending this time last year.

Texting is one thing, but the kids are also all down with the internet, and are spending about as much time surfing the web as they do watching television, around 17 hours a week.

"Ofcom's latest research shows that children's take-up and use of different media is growing at a rapid pace, with some areas such as texting and smartphone ownership fast outstripping the general population," said Ofcom's Consumer Group director Claudio Pollack.

"However, children are not just using more media, they are also adopting some forms at a very young age. This highlights the challenge that some parents face in keeping up with their children when it comes to technology and in understanding what they can do to protect children."

For the first time since it started doing this survey Ofcom has surveyed 3 to 4-year olds. It found that one in ten 3 to 4-year olds use a tablet at home, and that when they aren't doing that, they are spending 15.5 hours watching television. µ


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