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5 edifying figures about smartphones (social networks) and children

© Pexels/Max Fischer

Even though social networks are prohibited for children under 13, many people take advantage of them well before the legal age. from TikTok, Instagram and other Snapchat. This (among other things) thanks to our precious smartphones and tablets, which some parents entrust to their children from a very young age. According to a recent study conducted by ExpressVPN, among 1,000 French parents and their children aged 4 to 13, the habits of some are particularly dangerous for online security.

4 out of 10 children spend more than an hour a day on social networks

According to the study, no less than 60% of French children say they prefer human interaction to virtual interaction. A quick calculation shows that for 4 children (surveyed) out of 10, it is exactly the opposite, and more than 40% of those surveyed indicate spending at least 1 hour per day surf social networks and/or play online, often from a smartphone or tablet.

On the parent side, 30% suggested that allowing their children to connect online is the only way to keep them busy while still having time to spend on themselves. We treat ourselves to a little peace and quiet at the cost of a few minutes (hours) of screen time.

Almost 100% of those over 14 have a smartphone

While some children are equipped with a tablet/smartphone from a very young age (some have a smartphone/tablet from the age of 4! ), it is during adolescence that the smartphone becomes democratized. If in the past, teenagers grew up with television, young people today are growing up with a smartphone, and more than 95% of them would be equipped with one… from the age of 14.

Enough to fully open the way to numerous online activities, social networks… and all the abuses that result from it. However, more than 39% of parents say that they monitor their children's online activity on a daily basis. Phew!

Grooming, parents' number one concern

Grooming is this practice aimed, for certain malicious adults, at using social networks, discussion forums and/or video game sites to contact young users , pretending to be children themselves…

According to ExpressVPN, 82% of respondents indicated that their biggest fear was that their children would be victims of grooming, cyberstalking (78%) or online identity theft (54%). .

For children, the main concern online is meeting someone rude or vulgar (34%), but also being confronted with scary videos and/or or shocking images.

YouTube, the favorite platform for young people

Among the platforms most used by young people, we find at the top of the list a certain YouTube (35%). And for good reason, the Google platform hosts tons of videos of all kinds (especially for young people), with the added bonus of a recommendation system which constantly manages to provide children (and adults) with additional content. Added to this are the very addictive “Shorts”, these short videos in vertical format.

Among the other platforms very popular with young people, we also find Facebook, the network also having a solid video section. We can't escape the essential Snapchat (25%), but also Instagram.

Children kings of lies on social networks?

Among the online activities of many children, we find a common denominator: lying. In fact, to take advantage of social networks, nearly 3 children in 10 say they have lied about their age, and 1 child in 10 admits to having lied about their address.

According to the authors of the study, in addition to protecting yourself and overcoming certain restrictions, lying on social networks could also constitute a desire “to conform to social norms or the pressure that social media puts on them, which could ultimately harm their mental health.”< /p>

Note, however, that 58% of children indicate that they have never lied on social networks.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116