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Thursday, July 09, 2020

Parents worry as kids’ screen time increases in lockdown, survey reveals

The biggest concern of parents is that while they spend their time online, kids may unknowingly access inappropriate information.

By: Parenting Desk | New Delhi | Published: June 15, 2020 7:24:04 pm
kids, online activities, online classes, kids spending time online, parenting, survey, screen time, indian express, indian express news A whopping 84 per cent of respondents said they were highly concerned about the increase in screen time of their kids. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

A recent survey has revealed that parents are immensely concerned over the amount of time their kids are spending in front of screens in this period of lockdown. With schools shut, online learning has become the new norm, and kids are spending time on their devices for both connecting with their teachers at school, and for their own entertainment.

Conducted by OLX India, the survey was done with parents of kids aged between 5 years and 15 years, to understand their level of awareness and preparedness in helping them stay safe online. It was found that a whopping 84 per cent of respondents said they were highly concerned about the increase in screen time of their kids. Additionally, 54 per cent of parents have said that their kids are spending up to five additional hours on average in front of a screen.

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But, the biggest concern of parents remain that while they spend their time online, kids may unknowingly access inappropriate information, or that they may use studying as an excuse to access non-educational content. And while 57 per cent of respondents said they felt this way, they have not taken any tangible online safety measures to protect their kids from being vulnerable online, according to the release.

The survey also revealed that parents of teenage kids are more casual, with 75 per cent of them admitting that they have not taken any measures to safeguard their kids online, as opposed to 50 per cent of parents of kids in the age group of 5-10 years who said the same. Parents are also aware of the dangers of the internet with as many as 71 per cent of them having spoken with and educated their kids about them, the survey suggested. As many as 61 per cent of parents, however, said that they do indeed monitor the content their kids are viewing, especially in lockdown.

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“In these unprecedented times where movement is restricted, our dependency on the internet has increased manifold for work, school, entertainment, and being in touch with friends and family. In this age of smartphones and tablets and with kids getting their own computers for doing their homework, socialising and playing games, it has no doubt exaggerated the risks of them being online. Our survey also suggests that while parents recognise online risks their kids can be exposed to unsupervised, they lack the initiative to control their online behaviour,” Akanksha Dhamija, Director, Customer Centricity, OLX India said about the findings.

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“It is no doubt a huge responsibility to continually educate this vulnerable demographic, and different stakeholders must come together to make a difference. At OLX, our efforts over the last couple of years have been focused on educating our users to be safe and responsible online and have hosted cybersafety awareness camps especially for kids in schools and colleges positively impacting over 12,000 students,” she added.

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