Most parents never check their children's devices, according to a new study. Parents also grossly underestimated how much time their kids spend on devices, reporting about two hours less per day than the kids claimed.
RS Components recently looked into how parents with children under age 16 view screen time. The researchers asked parents how much time they thought their kids spent on different devices. They also asked how appropriate parents considered various social media platforms, and if they used parental controls. Lastly, the researchers wanted to know whether parents checked their children's devices.
According to the results, about half of parents thought that their kids spent too much time on their devices. Further, parents were not even aware of how much time their kids were actually spending. Parents estimated about one hour of daily use, while kids reported about three hours.
Surprisingly, a mere 14% of parents actually checked their kids' devices. Despite the fact that parents reported feeling uncomfortable about social media platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and Twitter, most never actually went through their kids' online profiles or checked through their devices at all.
Most kids started using technology items such as gaming consoles, tablets, and shared PCs at ages six to eight years old. By age eleven to twelve, parents allowed smartphone and private computer use. Things like virtual reality devices, voice assistants and smartwatches were permitted at ages thirteen to fourteen.
It seems pretty strange that parents do not look at their children's social media use, considering the related safety concerns. Less than a third of parents have actually accessed their children's devices, and 7% think they should, but just have not. That leaves 61% never having checked and without any intention of doing so.
It turns out that parents would rather give their child a device so that parents and kids can contact each other while apart. The prioritize this view of safety over the possible concerns related to social media use.