Young people now spend more time online than in front of the TV

The television has always been one of the most popular means of entertainment, a gadget that serves viewers with hundreds of channels playing different kinds of shows. But with the fast evolution of technology, the internet has also played an important role in people's way of spending some free time. And in line with this, according to a recent study, children are now spending more time in front of the computer surfing the web instead of watching television.

Research firm Childwise, which has been actively monitoring child behavior since the mid-1990's, discovered that youngsters aged 7-16 now spend three hours a day online. This is compared to only 2.1 hours in front of the tube, which was reportedly a decrease from three hours from 15 years ago. Moreover, it was seen that teenagers aged 15-16 spend less time in front of the TV, and that more than 75% would rather watch television shows online through on-demand or through a catch-up service. 60% of the sample population would rather watch TV shows through a phone, tablet or laptop.

In relation to the observed shift in TV viewing, it was revealed that Netflix was a top choice for television services, even overtaking channels themselves. Childwise also observed that the most common way to access the internet to watch shows was through mobile phones. However, it has also recorded a sharp rise in the use of tablet computers, which are now owned by 67% of young people, with the iPad being the most popular gadget.

The study goes on to mention that when children are accessing the internet, YouTube is the dominant destination. The website is usually utilized by almost half of the sample group for listening to music and watching video clips. More specifically, youngsters want to see funny stuff, and a portion want to watch "how-to" videos, like "how to play computer games."

Other popular services used include Snapchat, Instagram, Minecraft, and Facebook.

Lastly, the study took the time to acknowledge the decreasing use of older technologies like CD players, with mobile phones now being the primary way of listening to music for young people.

"TV viewing has been redefined," said Simon Leggett, Childwise's research director. "Children are now seeking out the content of their choice. They still find traditional TV programmes engaging but are increasingly watching them online and on-demand or binge watching box sets."

Source: BBC | Image of children via Shutterstock

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