Ofcom have said that six year olds are as good at using technology as the average 45 year old.
The communication watchdog published a report this week that looked at consumers and the way technology is being used, and by who.
With a generation of children who have grown up after the millennium, never having known pre-broadband days, we have native digital users, who are learning to use laptops and tablets before they can even talk.
“These younger people are shaping communications,” said Ofcom’s Media Research Head, Jane Rumble. “As a result of growing up in the digital age, they are developing fundamentally different communication habits from older generations, even compared to what we call the early adopters, the 16-to-24 age group.”
Judging children on a test that gives a Digital Quotient (DQ – think of it like a digital/technology based IQ test), it was found that they are scoring two points higher on average than people aged 45.
The test was given to 2000 adults, and to 800 children between 6 and 7 years of age.
This could be seen as worrying for communication in the future. Children are using apps, such as Snapchat, and only spend a reported 3% of their ‘remote communication’ time talking on the phone, preferring to send written messages, videos or pictures, through apps like Snapchat, instead.
As children grow up, understanding technology better than their parents, does this pose a threat? If children are more in touch with the internet than their guardians, are they at risk of accessing things, and talking to people, that would otherwise have been restricted?
Or is it that communication has naturally moved on and young children will forge their own methods of communicating and talking? And would adults (who simply don’t understand) attempting to limit this be pointless, selfish, and backward?