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Kids glued to mobile phone than watching TV: study

PTI
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Interestingly, 30 per cent of 9-18 year olds use a privacy screen to prevent others from seeing their phone.
Interestingly, 30 per cent of 9-18 year olds use a privacy screen to prevent others from seeing their phone.

Around 30 lakh Generation Z kids — those born after 1994 — are using 3G services and children in cities are spending more time on mobile phones than watching TV, a study by telecom equipment maker Ericsson has found.

“Around 30 million of 69 million urban Generation Z consumers own mobile phones, and 3 million of these use mobile broadband on their phones,” Ajay Gupta, Vice President and Head for Strategy and marketing, Ericsson India said here.

He said the study found 7 per cent of Generation Z kids own smartphones, and 20 per cent of kids owning smartphones are below 11 years of age.

The findings are based on a study conducted by Ericsson’s Consumer lab across more than 7,700 households in 16 cities, which covered 3,500 children and around 1,000 parents, which is applicable across 69 million Generation Z kids in urban cities, he said.

The Ericsson study has found change in behaviour of Generation Z kids, with around 58 per cent of children willing to give up watching TV to use internet on mobile phone.

“The amount of time which Generation Z kids, born between 1994 to 2004, spends using mobile phone per day has already begun to overtake the amount of time spend watching TV,” Gupta said.

“We are able to know about data usage pattern in the network but this study helps us confirm in who is using data,” Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Region, Ericsson India said.

With change in shift of kids interest, the parents’ attention is also shifting towards mobile devices to monitor and track the content their kids are getting exposed to.

“In order to keep up with the generation gap, parents are becoming more savvy in mobile media,” Gupta said.

The study finds 63 per cent of parents are interested in applications to block unwarranted content. Interestingly, 30 per cent of 9-18 year olds use a privacy screen to prevent others from seeing their phone.

A total of 76 per cent of urban parents expect service providers to provide them with call and message log details of their kids, the study said.

“Only one in three urban parents are able to keep track of their children’s communication activities and expect service providers to offer services in order to manage and monitor their children’s mobile and internet usage,” Gupta said.

(This article was published on November 6, 2012)
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