A recent study conducted by AVG Technologies – a company better known as an Internet security provider – has now shown that children are more likely to be able to operate the technologically advanced devices in their lives than to be adequate at any number of other life tasks. That isn't necessarily altogether surprising, especially for anybody who has ever caught themselves uttering the old adage, "kids these days," but the results may run a bit deeper than many would expect. The study itself is part of a larger, ongoing study into how modern technology affects young children – called AVG Digital Diaries. For this portion of Digital Diaries, children between the ages of 2 and 5 were scrutinized by over 2,200 mothers across 10 countries. Those include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S, with the study covering several daily tasks, such as shoe tying, and computer or smartphone tasks.
For starters, AVG Digital Diaries found that 69 percent of children between the given age groups were using computers or smartphones. There also doesn't appear to be any major distinction between genders. 59 percent and 29 percent of girls can play a computer game or make a mobile call, respectively. For boys, those numbers are 58 percent and 28 percent. Furthermore, nearly as many younger children, aged 2 to 3 years, can play smartphone apps as the older 4 to 5-year-old children. That, perhaps unsurprisingly, shows that those types of technology are rapidly replacing television as a means to entertain and educate young kids. An average of 58 percent of those children can play what AVG calls a "basic computer game" compared to 43 percent who can ride a bike and that number was higher in some countries, such as Australia, where it was as high as 66 percent.
Beyond that, the study concluded that more children can use a smartphone application than tie their own shoes. Smartphone use came in at 19 percent, as compared to shoe tying at only 9 percent. Meanwhile, the children of the mothers surveyed can use the web better than they can swim unaided – with the percentages sitting at 25 percent and 20 percent for those. Further still, the study showed which kids from which countries were better at certain things. European children, as compared to those in other countries, were shown to be better at placing a call from a smartphone, playing computer games, and using a mouse. Meanwhile, nearly three times as many Australian and U.S. kids can use smartphones apps as in the other countries polled. Interestingly, AVG also claims that the study revealed that mothers over the age of 35 were just a little better at teaching those life skills that weren't technology-based.
While the results of this study may seem somewhat shocking, it is also important to remember that the skills the children are learning with technology are becoming increasingly important in the modern world, which AVG states that, in light of the figures, are pretty common sense. Parents need to focus on instilling good browsing habits and, perhaps most important of all, talk to their kids about their usage. It's also a great idea to place computers in the more "public" areas of the household. That way parents can better monitor that use for themselves. Screen time should be limited, as well, and parents should definitely not allow their children on more "adult-oriented" sites, including social media. It is also important for parents to not divulge too much information about their children or their online usage for themselves on the internet, as it can put the kids at risk.