The life and times of a happy go lucky blogger in London
#digitaldiaries – what kids under 10 do online
Categories: blogging mums

I’ve been keen to post about this event I went to recently and now that I’ve finally got the infographic, I’m ready to share the details of the Digital Diaries research by AVG.

As someone who is heavily involved in research every day, I tend review a lot of statistics and insights. This research is really quite something, especially since it’s a look into the future and the resounding stats are still ringing around my head; over 80% of 0-2 year olds have a digital footprint and 20% of those are not even born. Like it or not (and I don’t mean in a facebook way) this is the future we are all facing. Social networking, social media, social web, social whatever, is not going away anytime soon – but some of us might be embracing it while others are just none the wiser.

The launch of the research coincides with The Bailey Report, reported here in The Guardian recently. This worthy report about protecting children needs further thought, and I’ll review it in more depth in another post. So back to Digital Diaries; it’s not a flawless piece of research as it compares tying shoe laces and bike riding to internet usage in the under 3s and 5s; I don’t think comparing those skills stack up. However, what was really pertinent was the way it was presented; as a study, a hard back book aimed at children and also an iPad app. It was well thought out and even though there were some great headline stats, I don’t think we should really be suprised by the statistics. Many of us post pictures of our children on facebook – I’ve noticed a lot of those photos are around birth, hence the post-natal digital footprint.

While looking into the digital future is akin to stargazing, it doesn’t hurt to think about it. In fact, it’s something we all need to face up to.

For those of us who are bloggers, there is a badge of pride that comes with followers, friends, likes, recommendations, reviews and badges. So why wouldn’t children be any different? I know several teenagers and younger, who blog, run big pages on Myspace (what’s left of it) and of course, Club Penguin, Bin Weevils and Moshi Monsters are all open to under 13s.

But my big drum to bang is who is showing the way to the new generation about online behaviour? Are schools teaching children how to manage this? No, they are far behind. Is our major public service broadcaster aka the BBC giving how to guides? No. So what’s left for parents? Very little except the common sense of those who are digitallly savvy.

According to the spokesperson from the IWF at our roundtable, it is the remit of influencers, namely Mummy bloggers who have a digital space, to show the way – and that is the way we should all be moving. As a blogger, I don’t know if that’s the right way, I am teaching my daughter the ropes of online behaviour, but what else can I do? Who or what is galvanising our communities to share knowledge and experience without scare mongering? Children’s issues are always so low on the agenda, I don’t want to see this slip through the net, hence my post.

Here are some of the key take outs of the research:

- More than half (51 percent) of 6- to 9-year-olds use some kind of children’s social network such as Club Penguin

- Roughly one in five use email, and despite being underage, 14 percent are on Facebook, according to their parents.
47% of 6- to 9-year-olds talk to their friends on the Internet.

- Almost one in six 6- to 9-year-olds and one in five 8- to 9-year-olds have experienced what their parents consider objectionable or aggressive behavior online

- 58% of parents admit they are neither well-informed nor understand their children’s online social networks

- 56% of parents were certain their family computer has parental controls or safety programs in place

Internet usage is part of our regular conversation at home and I aim to keep it that way.

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4 Comments to “#digitaldiaries – what kids under 10 do online”

  1. Laura says:

    Eva, excellent post and very good suggestions about education. Like you said, it’s not going away.

    • admin says:

      OOh thanks for reading the post – we had the ‘ Mum can I let this facebook app access all my friends and my camera to take pictures?’ question yesterday. ‘I said no way.’
      It’s sometimes quite worrying that we are giving our gadgets over to apps – but it’s also a good thing to ask questions. xx

  2. Potty Mummy says:

    Really interesting – a topic we should all be aware of and informed about. I need to know more; forewarned is forearmed and all that!
    Potty Mummy recently posted..Recyling In Moscow and the 1000 Bins Campaign

  3. Online safety should definitely be something that should be taught at school. Many kids are not aware of the dangers of online social profiles etc.

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