A new study by the Icelandic Media Commission reveals that almost all children from nine to 18 have a mobile phone highlighting the necessity of device usage education, reports RÚV.
The goal of the Children and Online Media study is to understand how children and young adults use online media. The study found that device ownership between ages nine and 18 ranges from 95-100%.
Project manager of the Icelandic Media Commission, Skúli Bragi Geirdal, believes that increased ownership requires increased education.
“When phone ownership has become total, then I think it is not right to ban phones, we just need to work with this, this is the new reality, everyone has a phone and then we need to teach them how to use it properly,” says Skúli.
A majority of children between nine and 12 are on sites with an age limit of 13. The most popular platforms for this age group are YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat, all have an age limit of 13.
“They don’t really have the age or maturity to use these platforms, yet 60% of this age group received help from parents to create these accounts,” says Skúli. “The parents help them in, even give permission without realising what this permission entails, despite the fact that this is forbidden.”
Skúli believes that there needs to be more education for children and parents about appropriate device usage. This includes educating parents on their responsibilities.
“I think the best thing to do is to have the conversation, that we’re not delving too deeply into necessarily what they’re doing, but that we create a dialogue between us where there’s trust,” says Skúli. “Because they can turn to us when they see something that makes then uncomfortable.”
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