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UK ISP TalkTalk Finds British Kids Spend 130mins Online Per Day

Posted: 19th Nov, 2009 By: MarkJ
talktalk logoBroadband ISP TalkTalk UK has revealed that the average British child (aged 5-15) spends 130 minutes per day online, 36 of which are spent doing something their parents’ would disapprove of. One in four kids also say their mums and dads have absolutely no idea what they get up to online.

62% of children admit to lying to their parents about their online behaviour, and they aren’t concerned about getting found out either, with 44% boasting that that they can hide any ‘unsuitable’ internet activity from their parents. Indeed 53% have erased their online footprint by simply deleting their browser history.

The research also found that 44% of parents say they never check their child’s internet history to see what sites they have been visiting and 25% have no idea what security level their search engine’s content filter is set at. Kids believe their parents would disapprove of 28% of their online activity.

Professor and Child Psychologist, Tanya Byron, says:

“TalkTalk’s research reveals the predicament facing Britain’s parents. We know the internet is increasingly important in our children’s lives, but many parents are still deeply ignorant about what goes on online. Not surprisingly, too many of us panic and either try to ignore this new technology – allowing our kids to use it unsupervised – or ban our kids from using it entirely.

With this new campaign I want to encourage parents to treat the internet as they would do any other element of looking after their kids. After all, the internet is a human creation, populated by people, and in this sense it’s no more or less inherently dangerous than the outside world.

Think of the internet as like a swimming pool. You want your kids to learn how to swim, but you wouldn’t just throw them into the deep end – you’d go in with them to the shallow end, get them used to the water and wearing water wings. I believe applying such offline principles to the online world makes e-parenting much less daunting and provides a solid foundation for all parents.”

TalkTalk is using this study to help plug its Brighter Sparks campaign, which is designed to provide their customers with practical parenting advice they can use regardless of how old or Internet savvy their kids are.
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