84 per cent parents concerned about children’s increased screen time amid lockdown: OLX India survey

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on June 18, 2020

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The lockdown has to lead to increased screen time for children raising concerns among parents according to a recent survey by OLX India.

“Parents are increasingly concerned over the amount of time their kids are spending online and in front of screens during the coronavirus lockdown, connecting with their teachers at school and for entertainment, confirms,” according to the survey by the online market place.

According to the report, 84 per cent of parents expressed concerns over the increase in screen time of their kids amid the lockdown.

Survey findings

According to the survey, there has been a 100 per cent increase in the screen time of kids since the lockdown started. 54 per cent of parents stated their their children were spending over 5 additional hours online.

This has raised significant concerns over the safety of children. 57 per cent of parents stated that they felt worried over kids unknowingly accessing inappropriate information online and use studying as an excuse to access non-educational content.

However, the majority of the parents have not taken any tangible steps to put safety measures in place as per the survey.

“Despite the anxiety however, 57 per cent have not taken any tangible online safety measures to protect their kids from being vulnerable online. Parents of teens seem more casual in their approach to putting in any safety guardrails,” it said.

“75 per cent of parents with teenagers admit to not having any online safeguards while a lesser number, 50 per cent of parents with kids in the age group of 5-10 years have not done so,” it added.

However, 71 per cent of the respondents had said that they had attempted to educate their children about the dangers of the Internet. 61 per cent of parents had also said that they were actively monitoring their children’s online activity. The number has increased over 20 per cent as compared to a similar survey conducted last year by the platform.

Safety measures for Children

The report also suggests taking various safety measures to ensure safety of children amid increased screen time. This includes password-protected access, screen time restrictions, safe search filters, etc.

63 per cent of parents believed that educating children about these issues should be a collective responsibility of the government, schools, internet companies and parents themselves.

“In these unprecedented times where movement is restricted, our dependency on the internet has increased manifold for work, school, entertainment and being in touch with friends and family. In this age of smartphones and tablets and with kids getting their own computers for doing their homework, socialising and playing games, it has no doubt exaggerated the risks of them being online,” said Akanksha Dhamija, Director, Customer Centricity, OLX India.

“While parents recognise online risks their kids can be exposed to unsupervised, they lack the initiative to control their online behaviour. It is no doubt a huge responsibility to continually educate this vulnerable demographic and different stakeholders must come together to make a difference,” Dhamija added.

The survey was conducted in May-June with parents of school-going kids in the age groups of 5-15 and above.

Published on June 18, 2020

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