[REPORT] Ofcom Digital Day 2014 #digitalparenting


The above report, observing 7 days worth of ‘ordinary’ activity online, has just been released. Key points relating to children are as follows (from p6 of the report):

  • 11-15s squeeze nine and a half hours’ worth of media and communications activity into just over seven hours each day. 11-15 year olds are more likely to do more than one activity at the same time, as they squeeze 9 hours 33 minutes of media activity each day into 7 hours 3 minutes. 6-11 year olds spend less time on media and communications each day, and undertake less media multi-tasking, compressing 5 hours 36 minutes of media activity each day into 5 hours 6 minutes.
  • 11-15s spend almost an hour a day communicating via social networking sites. This age group spend a significantly greater amount of time on communication activities than 6-11s, accounting for 2 hours 26 mins per day. Of this, almost an hour per day (52 mins) is taken up by communicating on social networking sites, while 38 mins per day on average is spent communicating via text message.
  • 11-15s favour communicating through messaging and social networking sites, over phone calls and emailing. The way children engage with communication activities is markedly different to adults, with phone calls and emails being much less popular among children aged 6-15. Over half of time spent on communication activities among children is taken up by text messages, instant messages and photo messages (54% of communication time for 6-11s and 56% for children aged 11-15), compared to 28% of communication time attributed to messaging among adults.
  • Media time is dominated by TV for 6-11s. Among this age group, television viewed on a TV set dominates the media day, and accounts for over 50% of time spent consuming media between 7am and 9am. In comparison, for children aged 11-15 this activity takes up a much lower proportion of overall media consumption time while the use of text communications, such as instant messaging and texting, features prominently throughout the day.
  • A fifth of time 11-15s spend on ‘watching’ activities is attributed to short online video content. Considering all of the time spent on ‘watching’ activities across a week among 11-15 year olds, just over half (52%) is to live television, compared to 69% for all adults. However, this age group spends a significantly greater proportion of its viewing time watching short online video clips compared to adults (19% vs. 2%).
  • Twenty per cent of children’s media and comms time is spent playing games. Overall, three quarters (75%) of children aged 6-15 reported playing games on an electronic device (including games consoles and tablets) during the week. These gaming activities took up a fifth of children’s total time spent on media and communications – well above the 5% of media time taken up by this among adults.
  • Six in ten children aged 6-11 use a tablet each week. Among 6-15 year olds tablets and smartphones are more popular than desktop/laptops. Tablets are the most used device among 6-11s after TV sets; sixty per cent of children in this age group claim to use tablets each week compared to 38% of all adults. For 11-15s, smartphones are the most used device each week (67%) after TV sets.
  • 11-15s display a much more varied use of devices throughout the day. While for both children’s age groups the TV set is the most used media or communications device on weekday and weekend evenings, for 11-15s other devices see much more consistent use throughout the day. In particular, children in this age group display much greater use of smartphones throughout the day, and games consoles particularly in the evening period.

Download the full report (PDF).