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Kids Can Use Smartphones Before They Learn To Write Their Names

February 20, 2014 at 5:31 PM

mom and child on computer

Does this surprise you? Read more about these findings involving smartphones and children and technology in this article originally published in the Huffington Post.

Kids around the world may be separated by land and sea, but many seem to have one thing in common: They know a lot about technology.

AVG, a computer security software company, surveyed 6,017 parents from the U.K., U.S., France, Germany, Spain, Czech Republic, Australia, Brazil, Canada and New Zealand to see just how digitally connected kids are. They found that children as young as 2 years old are becoming online natives faster than ever, possibly before they hit basic developmental milestones.

According to the parents polled, a whopping 89 percent of their 6-to-9-year-olds are active online. Internationally, 46 percent of kids spend more time in a virtual world like Webkinz or Club Penguin than any other online activity. Additionally, 65 percent of kids spend more than two hours online each week -- the U.S having the highest percentage of kids, 12 percent, spending more than ten hours per week online.

But here's where the findings get really interesting...

  • 66 percent of kids ages 3-to-5 can play a computer game, but only 58 percent are able to ride a bike.

  • 38 percent in that age range can write their full names and 14 percent can tie their shoes (a skill that's usually mastered by age 6), compared to 57 percent who know how to operate a tablet. 

47 percent of little kids are able to operate a smartphone while parents reported only 26 percent know how to make their own breakfast.

Of course, technology in kids' lives is beneficial -- it can provide alternative ways of learning, sharpen cognitive skills, and even jumpstart their futures. But maybe let's also learn how to tie our shoes, too?

               
Tim Woda

Written by Tim Woda

Tim Woda is an Internet safety expert, and a passionate advocate for empowering families and protecting children from today’s scariest digital dangers. Woda was on the founding team of buySAFE, an Internet trust and safety company, and he started working on child safety issues after his son was targeted by a child predator online. While his son was unharmed, the incident led Woda to kick-start uKnow.com. You can follow Tim on Twitter or on his blog.

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