A new survey of young mothers reveals small children are more likely to play a computer game or operate a smartphone than ride a bike or go swimming.
The 'Digital Diaries' study from Internet Security Company AVG polled 2,200 mothers with Internet access and with children aged 2-5 in the U.S., Canada, the EU5 (U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Spain), Japan, Australia and New Zealand. It asked the mothers which tech skills have their kids mastered and what life skills.
The answer was what could be considered a generational shift. More kids can play a computer game than ride a bike. Even at the tender ages of two and three, 44 percent know how to play a computer game vs. 43 percent that know how to ride a bike. All told, 58 percent of children ages 2-5 know how to play a computer game.
While 19 percent of kids aged 2-5 know how play with a smartphone application, only nine percent of kids those age know how to tie their shoelaces. Furthermore, more children can open a web browser (25 percent) than swim unaided (20 percent).
Technology has changed what it means to be a parent raising children today - these children are growing up in an environment that would be unrecognizable to their parents. The smart-phone and the computer are increasingly taking the place of the TV as an education and entertainment tool for children, J.R. Smith, AVG chief executive, said in a statement. As our research shows, parents need to start educating kids about navigating the online world safely at an earlier age than they might otherwise have thought.
The disparity was even greater in Europe where more kids there know how to make a mobile phone call (44 percent in Italy vs. 25 percent for the U.S.), play a computer game (70 percent U.K. vs. 61 percent U.S.) and operate a computer mouse (78 percent France vs. 67 percent U.S.). There was no disparity between boys and girls.