As a parent, I do worry about my kids spending too much time online.
Evidently, I’m not alone. According to this article kids are spending a ton of time online. Now that summer is upon us…there is even more time for them to spend. “Look, Mom! No Homework!”
Here are some nuggets:
Over the past five years, the kids’ Web universe has swelled by 18 percent, compared to a 10 percent growth rate seen in the relatively mature general Web population, per Nielsen. As of May, the kids 2-11 audience had reached 16 million, or 9.5 percent of the active online universe….
But even more impressive is this group’s heavy surge in usage when compared to the rest of the Web. Kids are all but living online. Time spent among kids has soared by 63 percent over the past five years, while overall time spent across all age groups is up 36 percent, per Nielsen.
According to Nielsen, kids 2-11 spent nearly seven hours online per month five years ago vs. 11 hours a month in 2009, with boys spending slightly more time on average than girls. That disparity is perhaps most evident in online video viewing, as boys accounted for 61 percent of video streams among kids on the Web.
I arrived at the same takeaway the author of the article did:
The reality these new numbers illustrate should also be a wake-up call for parents to really get involved in these kids’ digital lives by discussing where their younger kids are spending time online as well as setting appropriate limits (too much of anything, even “parent approved” websites or games, is too much). I worry about the internet becoming the new “babysitter” in the same way television has been for previous generations of “latchkey” kids.
So, just another reminder as parents that we have to watch what our kids are doing – be involved. Yes, it’s easy for me as I’m running thru my “to do” list at home to want to ignore the fact that they’ve been on the computer for hours…and I need to stop and be a parent for a minute.
Without our involvement and speaking truth…as Proverbs says: raising them in the way they should go so that when they are older they will not depart from it…they are at risk of believing whatever they run into online as gopsel:
14so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped,when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.