Parents blame technology for kids’ antisocial behaviour

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A new survey has revealed that over a third of parents believe mobile phones and tablets are making their children unsociable.

The study has shown that 39 per cent of parents believe the gadgets have had a negative effect on their child’s willingness to socialise.

It was also discovered that more than half of parents think a device has had a negative effect on their child’s willingness to participate in physical activity.

The research, conducted by insurance firm Row.co.uk, has also found that a third of parents also found their child to be more argumentative, had a lower attention span and received a lesser quality of sleep since the introduction of these gadgets.

Yet despite this, almost half said the tech has improved their child’s creativity and over a third said it had increased their happiness.

It was also revealed that almost a third of parents believe their child spends too much time using their devices, while 17 per cent regret giving their children a mobile phone or tablet.

Row.co.uk’s research also showed that almost a third of parents said they typically ban their child from using the devices at least once a week, with five per cent saying they have to remove the items once a day - resulting in tears, tantrums and one parent even comparing the reaction to that of an addict.

Data released by Ofcom in November 2015 revealed that three quarters of five to 15-year-olds own a tablet, as well as over half of three to four-year-olds.

The Row.co.uk survey showed that children spend an average of four hours on their mobile and four and a half hours on their tablets each week.

Parents also estimated that their children spend six and a half hours a week watching television, although only 18 per cent of parents think this is too much, compared to 29 per cent who think their child uses their tablet too much.

Over ten per cent have found their child using the device to listen to inappropriate music or playing inappropriate games, while six per cent claimed to have discovered their children using the devices to view pornography.

Richard Waters of Row.co.uk commented: “Gadgets have become a huge part of our lives, and over the last decade we’ve seen our dependency on electronics steadily increase.

“While technology is a big part of education for children, it is important that they feel safe and supported in their gadget use.

“Ensuring that parental controls are activated, and capping the amount of time spent using gadgets every week are just two ways parents can make sure their children are safely using their devices.

“Teaching our children about internet safety and how we should conduct ourselves online is also a good way to increase your son or daughter’s awareness about secure internet use.”