According to a new study by research firm NPD Group, kids are starting to use electronic devices such as computers and televisions from an earlier age, with the average dropping from 8.1 years in 2005 to 6.7 years in 2007.
"I do think that in a world where kids are surrounded by computers, cell phones, MP3 players, portable DVD players, and [where] they see their parents and older siblings using them constantly," Frazier added, "it is a natural progression for the kid to want to emulate that behavior and adopt it themselves." Besides that, Frazier noted, kids have "absolutely no fear factor when it comes to technology."
The study places television – not surprisingly – and desktop computers use at the top of the list getting the youngest initial exposure at about 4 or 5 years of age, while satellite radios and portable digital media players ranked last at about 9 years of age. The survey showed that the biggest age drops were in the use of DVD players and cell phones.
One of the reasons credited for the drop in adoption ages is consumer electronics’ increasing ease of use, a trend mostly aimed at parents, according to Frazier. Data was gathered by conducting an online poll between March 16 – 22, 2007 from a sample of adults with children between the ages of 4 and 14. MarketingCharts provides other interesting findings.