Mar 3, 2020

Today's Kids and Digital Devices


Today's kids are digital natives.  They are growing up fully immersed in the digital world in which we live.

They have always had high-speed internet, smartphones, virtual reality, HD television, watches with email capabilities and much more.

That being said, let's take a look at how kids are interacting with the digital devices they are growing up with.

First off, kids are getting digital devices younger and younger.  Whereas getting your driver's license used to be a rite of passage, today's rite of passage is when a child gets their first cell phone.

TV is still relevant.  And TVs are getting "smarter" each year.  And they are becoming more and more interactive.  With a smart TV,  kids can watch on demand, check their email and play interactive games with people from all over the world.  

TV is still the most common device that kids use to watch their favorite shows.  80% of kids still watch TV on a daily basis.

And a big goal for many YouTube stars is to reach the point where they can jump over into main stream television.  An example is Ryan Kaji, the eight-year-old YouTube star, who has made the leap from YouTube to television.  His online popularity has led him to doing a show on Nick Jr.

Right behind TV are smartphones.  They are the second most used device among kids.  Nearly half of six-to-12s use smartphones on a daily basis (47%), up from 38% in 2016.  53% of kids have their own cellphone by the time they are l1.  Let's look closer at how kids are using their smartphones. 

The number one activity on smartphones?  Gaming Especially among tween boys.  56% of kids play games on their smartphone.

56% use smartphones to text.

55% use smartphones to watch video.

49% use smartphones to talk.

32% use smartphones to watch TV shows.

27% use smartphones to watch movies.

Here are some more stats about the digital devices kids are using.

Television - 82%

Smartphones - 59%

Tablets - 48%

Video game consoles - 37%

Smartwatch - 13%

The Voice.  A new trend is overtaking typing.  It's voice command.  Voice assistants are becoming a part of the American home.  Smart voice assistants, such as Siri and Alexa, are quickly gaining ground.  39% of kids use a voice assistant each week.

As the next generation, Generation Alpha emerges, it will be interesting to see what shifts are made.  We do know that portable usage is rapidly expanding.  Content that kids can access at anytime and anywhere will continue to grow quickly.

And as you look at the stats and research, think about these questions...

What TV shows can you point kids and families to for wholesome entertainment?

How can we protect preteens from seeing the depravity of sin on their smartphones? 

How can we connect lessons from church to voice assistants at home?

How can we equip parents to help their children navigate the digital world in which we live?

How can we produce our own short videos for YouTube that are geared to provide wholesome content for kids and their parents?

How can we equip parents to keep up-to-speed with the rapidly expanding and changing world of digital communication?  What resources and strategies can we put in their hands? 

We know which platforms are being used to influence today's children and families.  As believers, who will step up and use those platforms to help kids know and follow Jesus?

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