After the December holidays, lots of digital kids will begin using new handheld devices, but as these new gadgets come out of their boxes, parents need to update or introduce a family digital device action plan. A family’s plan is similar to the rules-of-the-road guide that is so critical to new drivers.
These days most flashy new smartphones, iPads, tablets, music players, computers, laptops, notebooks, and video games are connected to the exciting, but rough and tumble world of the Internet, and much of the time these devices are used in places where adults are not present. So sometime during the first week of gadget ownership – or better yet, as the devices come out of their boxes – parents and children need to sit together and review digital behavior and expectations.
The 2013 results are based on a nationally representative survey of parents with children under eight years of age. Researchers surveyed 1,463 parents utilizing the same methodology that was used in the 2011 survey and making sure that African-American and Latino representation was large enough to ensure statistically valid conclusions. To further ensure the reliability of the data, investigators provided devices and Internet access to survey participants when necessary.
Several of the Most Interesting 2013 Findings
The survey data indicate that almost twice as many children, eight years and younger now use mobile media when compared to the 2011 Common Sense Media results.
Television, DVD, and video game use on traditional screens is decreasing, but television still dominates.
Although access to mobile media for poor and underserved children has increased since the 2011 survey, a digital divide still exists.
iPhones seem to have unlimited features to tweak. Since I have owned iPhones for more than four years, I tend to believe I am pretty expert about using them.
Then I read this Christian Science Monitor article, 40 iPhone Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know, and discovered that I still have quite a few cool new things to learn. The February 2012 report, by Megan Riesz, Eoin O’Carroll, and Chris Gaylord, includes a few far-fetched suggestions that I will never do — in my case some the ideas for tweaking Siri — but it also includes several iPhone tweaks that I’ve already added as I was making my way through the 40 tips.
When it comes to her iPhone, few learning difficulties have popped up for my mom, age 84. I am delighted at the ease with which she has transferred from her old flip phone to this one — a 3G that I retired when I updated my iPhone.
How Mom is Using her iPhone
Her first lesson focused on typing in her contacts, and she caught on right away and also understands how to make a call using the contacts app.
The visual cues on the iPhone screen are terrific.
She loves being able to sit in a comfortable chair and play solitaire — no lessons required for this!
She enjoys using the speaker feature rather than holding the phone up to her ear.
She likes to use Safari anytime and anywhere when she wants to look something up, though like me, she is sometimes frustrated when the phone is slower because there is no wi-fi.
The December 6, 2011 ComScore Data Mine features this interesting data chart that graphs the reasons that people purchase smartphones. The leading reason?
People appreciate the convenience of smartphone ownership. Is staying in instant communication with kids one of these conveniences?
The challenge for parents when they purchase these gadgets for kids? Balancing appropriate use with convenience. Read the MediaTechParenting family mobile phone contract.
Check out graph and explanation at the ComScore site.