'Kids spend 30 mts more daily on new gadegets'
London: The average time spent by children playing videogames on smartphones or using computers has increased by 30 minutes a day between 2000 and 2015, revealed a study. It also stated that parents need not worry as the kids can multitask and adapt their behaviour to include their devices. Children were spending 10 minutes less time watching TV between 2000 and 2015, it said.
However, their time playing videogames and using computers increased by 40 minutes, giving an overall increase of 30 minutes in the time children spent on traditional screen-based activities. The study also said that technology was not consuming children's time and attention, as was commonly perceived.
Conversely, children's increasing use of technology was spread throughout the day while they were engaging in many other activities, such as studying, eating, playing, socialising, etc.
"While this is undeniably a considerable amount of time, taken with context it suggests less cause for alarm. In fact, the study reveals that rather than allowing their devices to take over their lives, children are combining the use of new technology with other activities," said Killian Mullan, a Senior Research Associate, at the Oxford University.
"Our findings show that technology is being used with and in some cases perhaps to support other activities, like homework for instance, and not pushing them out. "Children are incorporating technology into daily life. They are taking the tech with them and they are doing all the things that they would do anyway," Killian explained.
In addition, the study, published in the journal Child Indicators Research, revealed that boys spend significantly more time playing videogames compared to girls, spending 50 minutes per day, compared to their nine minutes. The bulk of girls' time is spent engaging in other activities such as study and socialising, the researchers said.
For the study, the team combined data from two surveys 2000-01 and 2014-15, to study changes in screen-based activities and to build a detailed picture of the time children spend using technology.