submitted 1 month ago by MicroWave to c/news

Nearly a quarter of UK five-to-seven-year-olds now have their own smartphone, Ofcom research suggests.

Social media use also rose in the age group over last year with nearly two in five using messaging service WhatsApp, despite its minimum age of 13.

The communications regulator warned parental enforcement of rules "appeared to be diminishing."

It also said the figures should be a "wake up call" for the industry to do more to protect children.

In its annual study of children's relationship with the media and online worlds, Ofcom said the percentage of children aged between five and seven who used messaging services had risen from 59% to 65%.

The number on social media went up from 30% to 38%, while for livestreams it increased from 39% to 50%. Just over 40% are reported to be gaming online - up from 34% the year before.

Over half of children under 13 used social media, contrary to most of the big platforms' rules, and many admitted to lying to gain access to new apps and services.

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[-] [email protected] 44 points 1 month ago

Having a smartphone or social media access by themselves are not an issue. Having unrestricted access to a smartphone as a young child is a serious issue, both in terms of the amount of time they potentially spend on it and the content they may come across.

[-] Son_of_dad 20 points 1 month ago

I can't see a benefit of a 5 year old having a smart phone at all

[-] [email protected] 4 points 1 month ago

My kids don't, but some neighbor kids have them as basic gps/texting for their parents.

Gps to know where they are, and texting to go home for dinner. I've never seen them browsing or calling.

[-] [email protected] -1 points 1 month ago

Well you dont need a smartphone for that. Plenty of "dumb phones" and senior citizens phones on the market to use for that purpose. Or hell, un-dust the old Nokia.

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this post was submitted on 19 Apr 2024
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