Kids are on their phones nearly whole day – what do they do there: reasons, list of apps, solutions
It’s natural for parents to worry about their children’s safety when they use technology. However, by understanding the apps that kids are drawn to and why they find them appealing, parents can take steps to ensure their children’s online safety. In this article, we will discuss popular apps and provide tips for parents to keep their kids safe online.
Although kids enjoy video content and games, it’s crucial to monitor the content they consume and control the duration of time they spend on gadgets to prevent addiction. Parental control programs can help monitor children’s activities and prevent access to inappropriate content. Additionally, by connecting with their children on social media, parents can understand their interests and discuss beneficial content. It’s essential to teach children the responsible use of gadgets for their own benefit and the benefit of others.
What are our kids doing on their phones?
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the most popular apps for kids in 2023. Let us assure you that all data is strictly anonymous and never shared with third parties. Our research shows that kids spend an average of 4.5-5 hours daily on their devices. Interestingly, they spend an additional 30 minutes on weekends compared to weekdays.
On average, children spend 1.5-2 hours on social media and video streaming, and the same amount of time playing games. These numbers can be alarming to parents, especially if they are unaware of the apps their kids are using.
In the following sections, we will discuss each of the popular apps that have captured the younger generation’s attention and try to understand what makes them so appealing. Our mission is to help parents better comprehend how their kids use technology and provide them with the necessary tools to keep their children safe online.
We will also list the top popular apps that kids spend most of their time on each day. So, let’s get started with the leaders that have entirely captivated the younger generation.
Children spend an average of 103 minutes on YouTube, making it a popular platform for both learning and entertainment. However, not all content on YouTube is suitable for children. Parents should monitor their children’s activities, including the channels they subscribe to and their time spent on the platform. To ensure that their children are not exposed to inappropriate content, parents can help their children create age-appropriate playlists. YouTube’s age limit is 13+, and parents should guide their children on the appropriate use of the platform and internet safety.
85% of kids use WhatsApp for 27 mins/day. It’s free, fast, and simple. You can stay in touch with anyone worldwide via text, voice, photos, videos, calls, and video calls. However, it’s important to monitor kids’ use as no parental controls are available.
With that said, WhatsApp can be a safe and enjoyable way to communicate, as long as it’s used responsibly. Encourage your child to use the app for positive interactions and help them understand the importance of privacy and safety online.
Chrome Internet Browser
Chrome is a great tool that provides children with fast and easy access to the internet. It is widely used among children and they spend an average of 17 minutes a day browsing with it.
- Site content: Parents can use Chrome’s site filtering and blocking features to restrict access to age-inappropriate websites.
- Privacy settings: To ensure their children’s personal information is protected, parents can check and adjust Chrome’s privacy settings.
- Additional extensions: While Chrome allows users to install extensions, some of them may be harmful. Parents can check the extensions installed on their children’s device and remove any that may cause harm.
It is worth noting that Chrome is a free application that can be used to subscribe to paid sites or make online purchases.
Age restrictions: There are no age restrictions on using Chrome.
There’s a popular social platform that almost 50% of children use, with 90 minutes of daily usage. The app has short and entertaining videos but lacks intellectual content. Parents must be cautious of the weak content moderation which includes explicit videos, provocative challenges, and inappropriate language. Children may also be contacted by strangers through this app. Recommended age limit is 13+. Parents should discuss online safety and responsible internet usage with their children.
Standard applications “Calls” and “Messages”
Children’s cell phone use is a widespread practice, with an average of 11 minutes per day spent on the device. The amount of time spent on the phone varies depending on the specific cell phone carrier.
Tips for Parents:
- While cell phone use can be beneficial, it’s important for parents to be aware of potential risks. Phone scams, spam messages, and inappropriate content can pose a danger to children using cell phones.
- Parents can take proactive steps to protect their children by monitoring their cell phone use and educating them about online safety.
Age Restrictions: There is no age restriction for using cell phones, but parents should always exercise caution and take appropriate measures to ensure their children’s safety.
Played by almost one in two children (47% of children in total) for 77 minutes a day!
The multiplayer gaming platform enables players to create and explore virtual worlds, interact with others, and complete tasks.
Parents should keep an eye on their children’s Roblox gameplay to ensure their safety and well-being:
- Safety: Monitor interactions to prevent inappropriate behavior from other players.
- Payments: Keep track of spending and prevent overspending.
- Time: Limit game time and prioritize other tasks.
Customize the app’s security settings to ensure safety and age-appropriate content.
Age Limit: 10+. Children under 13 should use safe mode.
What other apps do kids use?
All apps on kids’ smartphones fall into 4 categories:
- social media & messaging
- standard smartphone apps
It’s no secret that YouTube and TikTok are incredibly popular among children and teenagers. In fact, if you add up the average time spent on these apps every day, it amounts to a whopping 3 hours! However, there are two other apps that are not as well-known but are just as interesting to analyze. Let’s take a closer look at them:
This video network has over 10 million users who share their funny stories, songs, and dances. While it’s not as popular among children (only 24% are under 17), those who stay connected spend an average of 65 minutes per day. Please keep in mind that the network includes users from diverse backgrounds, with varying levels of cultural awareness.
CapCut is a mobile video editing app used by 19% of kids for an average of 15 minutes daily. Parents should ensure that their kids do not use copyrighted content and monitor them for inappropriate content.
Social media and messengers
It’s hard to find a teenager who doesn’t have social media and messenger apps installed on their phone. The leader among kids is WhatsApp.
But that’s not all the messenger apps kids use.
Snapchat is loved by many for its unique way of sharing photos and videos with friends and family, with the added benefit of self-destruction of messages. It also offers creative tools such as filters, lenses, and Bitmojis. It’s important to note that many young people use Snapchat frequently, with around 25% spending at least 10 minutes daily on the app.
Popular messenger app for students and gamers. Offers useful features but criticized for poor communication quality and connection speed.
Kids have different game preferences. Roblox is the only game that made it to our top 10 list. Games come in second place when we categorize children’s smartphone activity. Children spend 20% of their time playing games. Some games take up to 4 hours a day. Here are the most common games.
1 in 4 kids play this competitive game, where you boost your characters’ superpowers. It encourages destruction and is suitable for junior high school students. Age limit: 7+.
The children’s game lets kids create and explore virtual worlds with different locations, characters, and objects. Parents should remind kids that the game is just for fun, and some actions may not be suitable in real life. The game has a chat feature, so parents should set privacy settings and teach kids to interact safely. The game is suitable for kids aged 6+.
Here are some games parents should be aware of, although they have lost their popularity among kids recently (less than 15% have installed them):
- Minecraft: With over 70 million fans worldwide, this game features weapons and violence, but also a lot of action. Age limit: 7+.
- PUBG MOBILE: Players fight for victory and their lives on a remote island, with realistic weapon visuals and sounds. We recommend against allowing children under 16 to play.
- Among Us: This online game includes social deduction and moderate violence. Age limit: 16+.
Research results and conclusions
We did a study on how kids use gadgets and here’s what we found:
- Kids spend almost 5 hours a day on their phones.
- The top 5 apps are 2 entertainment apps, 2 messengers and a browser.
- YouTube and TikTok are the most popular apps, with kids spending an average of 1.5 hours/day on each.
- Kids create their own content on these apps.
- TikTok and YouTube have lots of short and engaging content that keep kids hooked.
- Marketplaces are gaining popularity among kids.
- Roblox is the most popular game among children for two years in a row, while Among Us and Minecraft are losing some of their appeal but still have devoted users.
Children are most interested in watching videos and playing games, so parents should monitor what content they consume. Spending too much time on gadgets can lead to addiction, so it’s important to maintain a balance. Social networks are less popular, and parents should discuss their children’s interests to replace unhealthy content and prevent traumatizing information from reaching their consciousness.
What to do and how to protect the child?
Parents should prioritize their children’s safety while using mobile applications. By installing parental control programs, parents can keep track of their children’s online activities without being intrusive. These programs offer a range of features like GPS-navigation, blocking access to inappropriate content, and limiting app usage. Additionally, parents can inspire their children to use gadgets for their own benefit and for the benefit of others. While it’s important to be mindful of the time children spend on their phones, it’s also exciting to see how modern technologies can enhance children’s communication, problem-solving, and learning skills.