NEWS15 August 2016

Smartphones overtake laptops among UK teens

Mobile News Trends UK Youth

UK — New research has revealed that smartphone use has overtaken laptop use for the first time among UK 10-15 year-olds. 

Child mobile smartphone crop

The research from Mintel showed that while 71% of kids in this age group use a laptop (down from 79% in 2014 ), 78% use a smartphone (up from 71% in 2014 ). 

Mintel has attributed the fall in laptop use to the rise of social media – the research indicates that 72% of teens and tweens who have a smartphone use it to access social media websites and apps. Just 36% have accessed these sites from their laptops.

However, the research highlights that parents have concerns over their children’s use of social media sites. Three quarters ( 75%) of parents with children aged 10-15 said they were worried that their child would be sent inappropriate content, and 74% said they were worried about their child interacting with adults they don't know. Around two thirds ( 65%) said they were worried about their child being bullied over social media. 

“The smartphone has become the centrepiece of media consumption for teens and tweens," said Rebecca McGrath, media and leisure analyst at Mintel. "With the vast majority using their smartphones to access social media sites, parents have numerous concerns regarding user interaction across social channels, as well as the content their children are able to access.

"Current age restrictions do not appear to be particularly effective, leaving young people exposed to issues such as cyber-bullying, inappropriate content and the possibility of interacting with dangerous strangers. Networks are therefore facing greater pressure from parents and legislature to take a more active role in ensuring that younger users are protected, for example with the introduction of strict age-based content filters.”