With the constant criticism of child cell phone usage in the media, one has to wonder just how much time children are spending on their phones and what they spend their screen time doing. SellCell recently released the results of a survey focusing on this topic and the findings: child cell phone usage statistics are shockingly high.
Children start off their cell phone usage surprisingly young. SellCell discovered 40% of US parents let their children have their own cell phone by the age of 10.
The reported reasons vary for such early childhood cell phone usage. Parents are seeking steady contact with their children, or are giving their kids the ability to communicate with friends for educational benefits. For 83% of parents, the cell phones were expected to be used to have their children stay in contact with them.
SellCell’s press contact Sarah McConomy stressed the need for connection as a driving force behind growing child cell phone usage. She tells Parentology,
“The world is becoming ever more connected. There are now more mobile connections than people walking the planet.”
McConomy continues, “At this moment in time, the number of cell phone sales will only keep increasing to support the demand for devices.”
The benefits of child cell phone usage are not limited to staying connected. Despite reported negative consequences of child cell phone usage, the amount of parents admitting to providing their children cell phones to give themselves a break from one-on-one parenting is high at 40%. These numbers reflect an increase of parents focusing on the positive effects of child cell phone usage rather than the negative consequences trending in the media.
Four in 10 parents allow their kids early cell phone usage with this will benefit both them and their children. The parents get some time off while kids are kept occupied. Kids get the benefit of staying connected and entertainment at their fingertips.
With parents enabling kids with cell phone usage, just how much time are kids spending with their personal screens?
Forty percent of kids are spending at least 30 hours a week on their cell phones — nearly two days worth of cell phone tech time.
This extensive cell phone usage doesn’t come without boundaries. Increased parental surveillance is tied to the high numbers of child cell phone usage with 88% of parents knowing the passcode to their kid’s phone. Having this kind of access allows parents to feel more in control of their kids’ tech time, enabling them to know exactly how their kids are spending screen time.
The high usage numbers in child cell phone usage statistics can be tied to the surge in smartphones and their access to varied entertainment. Kids aren’t necessarily addicted to their phones, but entertainment granted through screen time. Fifty-seven percent of kids use their phones for gaming and 50% of kids regularly use their phones to watch TV and movies.
“It’s clear that children are using phones for a fairly wide spectrum of day-to-day activities that, as a whole, add up to the usage numbers outlined,” McConomy says. “Parents see cell phones as positive for their child’s development, so this is definitely a factor that will impact the overall usage rates.”
The appeal of child cell phone usage is apparent, for both parents and the kids. The child cell phone statistics may seem abnormally high, but in a digital-centered world calling on the need for constant connection and entertainment, they might just be our new normal.
Child Cell Phone Usage Statistics Sources
SellCell Press Contact, Sarah McConomy