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Kids' Use of Electronic Devices Continues to Rise

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Friday, June 12, 2009

Kids' Use of Electronic Devices Continues to Rise

Okay, there's nothing earth shattering about this news tidbit, but new research backs up what many assumed was the case, namely that kids' use of electronic devices continues to grow.

According to Kids & Consumer Electronics Volume 5, the most recent report from leading market research company, The NPD Group, this year marks what may be the beginning of a new trend between boys’ and girls’ usage of consumer electronics (CE) devices, especially their usage of cell phones and laptop computers.  According to the report, girls are now more likely than boys to use these specific devices, while kids of all ages and genders are migrating away from using cell phones as a verbal communication device, opting to switch over to “talking” via text messaging and sending photos.

In the past five years, text messaging has skyrocketed among kids, and in 2009, almost half (46 percent) of kids using cells phones are text messaging.

Households with kids ages 4-to-14 own an average of 11 of the CE devices measured, providing kids with more than enough electronic entertainment options, and there’s no sign of this trend reversing anytime soon, as one-third of parents plan to buy a CE device for their child in the coming year. Parents are reporting that younger kids will be getting educational learning toys, while older kids can expect to get cell phones and digital cameras.

Kids’ usage of devices, such as personal digital music players (PDMP), laptops, digital cameras and cell phones is growing at impressive rates, changing the entire landscape of CE devices in the five years that NPD has been publishing reports on kids’ usage of consumer electronics products.  For example, 37 percent of kids use a PDMP this year, while only 6 percent used a PDMP in 2005. 

Source: NPD