Children spend as much time surfing the net as watching TV says Ofcom

Children aged between 12 and 15 have been found to be spending as much time on the internet as they do watching TV, a first for this group, according to a new report on children's media habits from Ofcom.

Young browsers: internet use among children is on the increase
Young browsers: internet use among children is on the increase

The report, 'Children and parents: media use and attitudes report 2012', found that 12- to 15-year-olds spend an estimated 17 hours a week on each activity.

In addition, the report indicated this age group perceived their smartphone as their most valuable device – 39% of this group said they would miss their mobile phone more than any other device.

Ofcom said this age group was no longer restricted to using the internet via laptops and PCs, but was more likely than last year to go online using their mobile phones.

Since last year, there has been a 50% rise in the proportion of this age group owning a smartphone, with the number now totalling 62%. This is significantly higher than the UK average of adults owning smartphones, which totals 45%.

Tablet device usage has risen threefold among children, with 14% of all children between the ages of five and 15 stating that they use tablets at home, up from a recorded 5% in 2011. Tablet usage by 12- to 15-year-olds has jumped in the past year from 7% to 17%.

Despite the steep rise in internet use, TV remained the media activity that most children in all age groups said they do almost every day.

Ofcom recorded the habits of three- to four-year-olds for the first time, finding that 37% of this group use a PC, laptop or netbook to search for sites, watch TV programmes or play games online. Ofcom also found that 9% of this group use a tablet device at home.

The report also confirmed that large numbers of children use social networks, finding that 43% of five- to 15-year-olds have a social networking profile, which jumped to 80% in the 12-15 age group.

Become a member of Campaign from just £45 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk ,plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Become a member

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Why creative people have lost their way

What better way to kick off the inaugural issue of Campaign's monthly print offering than with another think piece on the current failings of our industry, written by an embittered, pretentious creative who misses "the way things used to be"...

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).