Kids now spend more time online than watching TV

A study by telecoms regulator Ofcom has found that the internet has overtaken TV as the most popular pastime among children. In fact, kids spend around 15 hours a week online, particularly on YouTube.

Ofcom's not so snappily named Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes study looks at how children in the UK approach different forms of media. What's immediately clear from the results is how dominant the internet has become in their lives.

On average, kids aged 5-15 spend 15 hours a week online, and even pre-schoolers (3-4 years old) spend eight hours a week on the internet. That's more than an hour longer than last year within that age group alone.

In contrast, the amount to time spent watching TV has declined. Viewing among all kids decreased from 14 hours 48 minutes to 13 hours 36 minutes.

But children are, at least, still watching video. YouTube is the most popular online destination for children - nearly three quarters of those surveyed said they use the video site. What's more, many four in ten 8-12 year olds and 12-15 years olds said they liked watching YouTube more than traditional TV.

It's not all doom and gloom for TV though. Even though its importance has lessened slightly, it still has a massive role in kids' lives. Around 90% said that they still watch it almost every day, with 6-9pm drawing the largest number of junior viewers.

Source: Ofcom

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