Some time ago, a few years back, the television was the sole source of entertainment of kids. Where, 9 times out of 10, people would, even adults, would enjoy the company of the television and nothing else. As far as we could imagine, we adults thought that that was the end of it. However, when the Internet was introduced, the television hype almost came to a stop.
Here in the Philippines, a lot of kids now have access to the Internet. Other than the fact that the things you can access on it are free, it’s also less limited which is a lot more exciting than television.
But what dangers could this possibly bear? Yes, it’s a lot better for entertainment purposes; it’s wider in terms of coverage and availability; but is it healthier and better for children to be accessing it?
The usage of Internet access of kids in the Philippine region
Based on a recent survey and study, eight (8) out of ten (10) children in the country prefer to have Internet connection than television. So, that easily translates to children, voting more to have Internet access than the old classic television in which we, adults, have grown accustomed to.
This study came from TotallyAwesome, a kids digital company based in Singapore; the results were schocking as it came to release their fourth (4th) Philippine Kid’s Digital Insights Survey. The Insight’s main purpose was to analyze children’s online media consumption, device usage and content, brand preferences, as well as the kids’ behavior when connected to the Internet.
320 Internet users from ages four (4) to sixteen (16) years old were the ones in participation in this specific project and study. They were asked and made the option to chhoose between television and the Internet. The results? Well, it was just a staggering 84 percent who chose the Internet. Yes, almost all of the children wanted to be online than tuning in to a television screen (16 percent).
Quan Nguyen, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TotallyAwesome, noted that Filipino children tend to be more fanatical and vocal with what their feelings, thoughts, and opinions than other children in different countries.
We have seen children in the Philippines being very vocal and fanatical about content that they see online and over the Internet. With a high smartphone penetration, it only stands to reason they are more impressionable to online kid influencers. Brands marketing to kids must drop bait where the fish are instead of holding on to outdated strategies.”
The Philippine smartphone market
As we may all know, the Philippines is one of the few countries who greatly patronize the use of smartphones than any other gadget in the market. In accordance to the context we are talking about, smartphones came out to be the favorite device of children, having an 81 percent advantage. The tablets come second with 56 percent, the television at 54 percent, laptops at 35 percent, and last but definitely not the least, desktop computers at 31 percent.
As per the study, children spend a general average of 82 hours in a single month connected to the Internet. This is more than twice as much as they are studying or reading books.
Advertising and marketing impacts
Not only that, the Internet also comes in flying colors when it comes to marketing and advertising than other sources like televisions and newspapers. As per the study, there are more respondents who became interested in a certain product after they saw an ad online versus seeing the ad on a TV commercial or in a newspaper.
So, we can arrive at a conclusion that the Internet has been a powerful source for both advertising, marketing, and entertainment uses than old-school classic ways like the radio, the newspaper, and the television.
As a matter of fact, parents reported that 73 percent of children were able to tell them about a certain product after they looked at it online opposing the 27 percent of seeing it on TV. In addition to that, 64 percent of children asked their parents to buy something for them because they saw it on the Internet as opposed the 59 percent when they saw it on TV.
How safe is the Internet access versus what can be seen on television?
Although better and more entertaining, it’s clear that the Internet access is less safer compared to regular television, cable, and radio accesses. Why? Because having access over the Internet is like giving your child a free pass to literally EVERYTHING. Because hey, the Internet has everything, right?
Just how dangerous is it? Well, about 33 percent of children came across something inappropriate in their time accessing the Internet, 32 percent were able to experience something negative relating to overall principles and values; 7 percent shared or revealed personal information that was misused; and 12 percent of children experienced cyber bullying or bullying in a digital sense. A total of 70 percent of parents reported that their children experienced these issues online without their consent.
Key but unsafe for children
So, even if it’s better in terms of access, limits, and potential knowledge, it’s also dangerous to think that children and kids can be exposed to this kind of environment. So, it’s better to always ensure that whatever your children sees is filtered and controlled by you or other adults in the household.
97 percent of children claim and are observed to utilize social media platforms where they can interact with millions of people from all over the globe. In accordance to that, also 97 percent of parents have the worry that their kids might be in grave danger for being in those platforms just by themselves.
It’s key to knowledge, yes, but the time of kids accessing it might not be the perfect thing to think of considering the fact that anyone could be anyone in the Internet.
Remember, the figure of children choosing the Internet over TV and other sources of media is relevant and is essential to their mental and psychological development.
A lot of people, both kids and adults, misuse the Internet to spread negativity and inappropriate content nowadays and whatever motive a person may have, you need to make sure that youre children would not be one of the people who could have long-term issues just because of what they saw online.