Children and adolescents spend 4 hours a day connected to the Internet outside the classroom

The time that minors spend on digital platforms and applications has dropped after the hardest moments of the pandemic and the successive confinements, but they still spend an average of four hours a day connected to screens outside the classrooms.

They use mostly Youtube, Prime Video and Netflix as video platforms; WhatsApp, Zoom and Discord as communication applications; Tik Tok, Instagram and Snapchat as social networks; and the video game most popular among them are still Roblox and Brawl Stars.

The data is highlighted in the study “From change to adaptation: living and learning in a digital world”, prepared by qustodioa platform specialized in digital security and control for families with more than four million users in the world, after analyzing the anonymous responses provided by 400,000 families with children between 4 and 18 years old.

The work radiographs the trends and digital use during 2021 in three countries (Spain, United States and United Kingdom), the hours they spend in front of the screens, the networks they use the most, if their use has decreased after the pandemic, if they and their families are aware of the associated risks, how it affects their physical activity or if that technology contribute or not to learning.

The person in charge of this platform, Edward Cruzexplained today, May 5, 2022, during the presentation of the report in Madrid, that the long-term effects of technological dependence and the habits that these generations have acquired since the health crisis began are still unknown, but it has anticipated some of the positive and negative consequences of hyperconnectivity that families already exhibit.

The negatives: Most families (75 percent) have already found that child abuse digital devices negatively affects their children; who have reduced their physical activity; that they are more “isolated”; and that alters their sleep routines.

The positive ones: families perceive how their technological capabilities; that the use of many applications and devices improves the learning; that they have more autonomy to investigate and explore new ideas; and that these tools improve the socialization of minors.

Effects of the pandemic

Since the “new normality” began, minors spend an average of four hours a day connected to a screen outside the classroom, which represents almost 1,500 hours a year -half of the time they spend sleeping-, according to this study.

The video platforms most used by minors are YouTube, Prime Video, Netflix, Disney +, Movistar + and Twitch; the latter experienced a significant drop -of 26%- last year, after the spectacular increase -of 150%- that it had registered in 2020.

Among the social networks, the most used by minors continue to be Tik Tok, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and Pinterest.

Roblox continued in 2021 to be the favorite video game of the minors, and for the first time it was also in Spain, where it ousted another game, Brawl Stars, which had been the favorite of children and the youngest since 2019.

The study also reveals that the rise of educational applications that caused the pandemic has remained in United States and United Kingdomin which its use has even grown, but in Spain there has already been a 25 percent decline in the use of these services.

The data indicates that of some 12 minutes a day that minors dedicated to these educational applications and platforms in Spain has been 9 minutes.

Among the social networks most directly used for digital socialization, the favorite of the youngest in these countries is WhatsApp, followed by Zoom, Discord, Skype and Google Hangouts, and in general the use of communication applications has grown by 150% more than that of the social media in the three countries on which the study has focused.

The study carried out by this platform also reveals that many of the platforms or networks most used by minors in those countries (Youtube, Tik Tok or WhatsApp) are also the most blocked by parents who exercise parental control over what their minor children do in the Digital environment.

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