New study suggests kids are just as tech savvy as adults

By on November 16, 2011, 8:30 AM

A new study from security firm AVG suggests that the average 11-year-old is just as tech savvy as their adult counterpart. The fourth installment of AVG’s Digital Diaries, which studies the digital life cycle of children, also reveals that parents are largely oblivious to this fact.

The study found that only 10 percent of UK parents believe their 10- to 13-year-old is better informed about the Internet than they are. On a global scale, 87 percent of fathers claimed to know more about the Internet than their children.

Almost 60 percent of UK parents polled said their 10- to 13-year-old has a computer in the privacy of their bedroom, meaning there is no consistent, real-time monitoring of online activity. The study found that most parents have no idea what their kids are doing online, although 58 percent admitted to having logged into their child’s computer to find out. 72 percent of parents in the US have done the same thing.

AVG points out that certain tech skills, for example the use of social networking sites at a young age, can put children into adult-like situations that they aren’t yet equipped to handle.

"Children are online at such an early age that many have developed the technical maturity of adults by their tween years. However, they have not developed the equivalent intellectual or emotional maturity necessary to make the right decisions in the many complex situations they face online," said JR Smith, CEO of AVG Technologies.

It’s no secret that children in today’s age are accessing technology at a much younger age than most of us did as kids. Nearly every facet of the modern world is intertwined with technology in some shape or form and in many instances, basic life skills are taking a backseat to tech skills.

In the second installment of the multi-part study published last year, AVG found that more kids between the ages of 2 and 5 could play a computer game, operate a smartphone application and open a web browser than could ride a bike, tie his or her shoelaces or swim unaided.

Image courtesy Morgan Lane Photography / Shutterstock

User Comments: 10

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Scshadow said:

I'm a big fan of technology, obviously, but I have to say this scares me. In this day and age, parenting already lacks. Parents think its okay that if they don't feel like giving their child attention, just put him in front of a computer or TV and they don't have worry about it crying or doing something to get in the way of them having a relaxing evening. So when they grow up with a piece of technology being more of a friend then their own parents, of course they know each other better then the parents do.

tehbanz tehbanz said:

kids? on my internets, no way! but seriously i grew up with the internet. went into chatrooms as a kid, did things i shouldn't have, etc. etc. typical kid stuff, i knew way more about computers than my parents did and was already the family tech "guy" by like age 10. I'd say im not an ordinary guy by todays standards but i function very well in society, but I believe this is because I had great parents who had excellent parenting skills. Had they not been there i'd probably be a basement dweller by now with no successful job, no girlfriend etc.

Interesting to see this story and that I can relate to it.

this image pretty much sums it up.

bakape said:

Hence 12-year-olds in online games.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Very misleading. Check out this story on WIRED. [link]

Sure kids can use the technology, but they have no idea HOW to use it. Kids even up to college aged can't find reliable information on the internet. They click on whatever shows up first in google's results without being able to decipher fact from fiction.

Yes, they can use the computer and find facebook, but they need to be taught how to think and interpret the information. They're still as gullible and naive as kids have ever been.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Perfect example of something bogus from the internet... "AVG found that more kids between the ages of 2 and 5 could play a computer game, operate a smartphone application and open a web browser than could ride a bike, tie his or her shoelaces or swim unaided."

Well... duh! The study concluded that more kids can do a simple single task than can do one that requires lots of practice. Next it'll be news that playing a guitar is harder than the kazoo. If the study compared typing speed to tying shoes then it might be noteworthy

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Survery's like this show why our Country's IQ has dropped so much.

And most of todays kids can use PC's, but they don't have any clue how they work nor care.

Lionvibez said:

haha those kids still aren't at my level.

10-13 this would have been the early 90's I was already ripping apart AT towers and trying to figure out how a 386 and a 486 works.

And i'm 31 if I ever do have children they won't be surpassing me that is for sure!

Also has the rest have stated the article is flawed.

tonylukac said:

You really don't think a 13 year old knows more than a senior citizen still using aol? I think you missed the boat on this one. My nieces introduced me to the internet.

Mindwraith said:

i dont understand why people think that parenting skills are deteriorating. 50 years ago, parents let their kids play in parks and rivers without watching them. now they let them play online without watching them.

parenting skills havn't changed, only the medium by which children interact with the world.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Mindwraith said:

parenting skills havn't changed, only the medium by which children interact with the world.

Good point... if I had a dollar for everytime my mom left me in the car while she ran into a store quick I'd be retired. My wife half freaked out when I suggested doing that once with my daughter. Even though statistically, random kid snatching is non-existant.

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