Google reveals Singapore kids are youngest globally to get first internet device; Should we worry?

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Google conducted a research and found that the average age that Singapore kids get their first internet-accessed device is eight. So is it a matter to concern about or let those children be happy with their new gadgets to play with?

As per the research result, published by Google on Monday, March 18 this is the youngest age among all the countries involved in the survey and lower than the global average age, which is 10.

For the study, the research team reached out to 400 parents and 200 teachers. Since the kids are being exposed to the wide cosmos of internet at such a young age, the 96 percent of the parents and teachers showed their concerns about the online safety of the children, as well as recognized the need for the kids to be educated with digital literacy.

It should be noted that only half of the parents responded that they are satisfied with the quality of online safety education schools provide. On the other hand, 76 percent of the teachers feel that the parents are not doing enough for the sake of their children's safety.

However, the research revealed that parents and teachers do agree that more can be done at home and in school in terms of teaching children about online safety and digital citizenship. But maximum teachers responded that they were not equipped enough to teach literacy to the students.

As per the Google's survey, 73 percent of the parents and 87 percent of the educators want to participate in online safety workshops or training to learn right skills and how to monitor the safety of the kids.

But both the parties have different opinions about the major areas to focus on to make sure the safety of the kids online.

While the parents believe that privacy and security should be the first priority, followed by oversharing of information and inappropriate content, as per the teachers, who play a huge role in building the character of a child, preventing cyberbullying is the major component followed by privacy and security and inappropriate content.

google survey

Google's advice on how to build a good digital habit for the kids:

  • Manage the apps: Handy notifications let you approve or block apps, which your child wants to download from Play Store. Manage app purchases and hide specific apps from the device.
  • Limit the access: Google Family Link lets you set time limits and bedtime for their device. Lock the device when you think it's time to take a break from the gadget.
  • See where they are: Family Link will allow you to find and locate your children as long as they are carrying the device.

IBTimes Singapore has reached out to the psychologists in Singapore and asked them to share an opinion on how the exposer to internet-connected devices at such a delicate age affect the kids psychologically.

Related topics : Education