In 2021, 87 percent of eleven and twelve year olds will have a smartphone. A meaningful number that emerges from the Datamind report “Trends 2021 in Numbers” – that is to say nine out of ten children. In Luxembourg, as elsewhere in Europe, the beginning of the school year is more than ever about technology. According to the KIM study published by Bee Secure in the Grand Duchy, children receive their first smartphone at the age of nine. 69 percent of six to 13 year olds know how to use it without parental supervision. And it’s no secret that the device isn’t just used to call mothers when they need to be picked up from school.
Specifically, more than seven out of ten children between the ages of eleven and 14 have at least one account in social networks. Datamind points out that girls at this age are even more active than boys. Between the ages of 15 and 18, almost everyone is registered in one or the other social network. When asked about children and teenagers, they say they chat with friends and relatives, watch videos and follow the lives of their favorite stars. Sometimes even information about lessons and homework should be exchanged.
An effect of the pandemic
The apps most used by Luxembourgish children and teenagers between the ages of twelve and 19 are WhatsApp (82 percent), Instagram (46 percent) and YouTube (31 percent). But Snapchat and Tiktok also saw one of the strongest increases in users aged 15 and over in the past year. At the same time, interest in Facebook among the youngest users is declining significantly, even if Messenger is still being used. However, children and young people also state that they find out about current brands.
However, the use of the technology has evolved and has become even more important in recent months due to the health crisis. According to observers, daily internet use increased by around 26 percent in 2020, due to the lockdown and closure of schools. According to Bee Secure, young people spent an average of 258 minutes a day online over the past year. In 2019 it was 205 minutes.
If the trend is not down, Bee Secure Luxembourg warns at the beginning of the school year that parents should watch their children when using the apps and on social networks. Because hate messages, fake news and insults won’t go away with the end of summer.
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