Outcomes from the OFCOM "Children and parents: media use and attitudes report 2022"
The most recent OFCOM Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes Report has been published, and its findings are a little bit scary. Technology and social media is taking the world by storm - especially online video sharing platforms like TikTok.
The findings from the report show that almost all children in the UK have access to the internet, with most using a phone or tablet to do so. Data from The Insights Family shows that a fifth of children spend more than two hours on their mobile phone on a school day, rising to three in ten at the weekend. CHILDWISE found that among 7-16s with a smartphone, more than six in ten (62%) had access to their phones at all times, and that the smartphone was the device that children were most likely to say they couldn’t live without.
Here's a breakdown of some of the findings per age category:
That being said, research carried out by The National Literacy Trust found that more children are reading outside of their class daily – 30.1% in early 2021, compared to 25.8% in 2019. But the figure in early 2021 was slightly down on the figure of 30.8%, from early 2020.
When it comes to reasons why children and young people enjoy reading, 44.6% of 8 to 11 year olds said reading made them feel better in early 2021 and their main reasons for reading included to relax (52.7%), to learn new things (51.4%) and to learn new words (49.8%). Just over 30% said that reading makes them feel happy.
By far the most popular reading choice for children and young people is text/direct messages (92.4%) followed by in-game communications (87.4%). Still, 1 in 2 (51.0%) read fiction on paper in their free time while nearly 3 in 10 (28.1%) also read fiction on screen.
Encouragingly book ownership was high, with 94.2% of children and young people saying that they have their own books. When shops and libraries were closed during the pandemic, over 50% of children and young people said they reread books they had at home and 40% said they read more online.
These statistics are particularly promising as it shows that books and technology can coincide in the world. Whilst the rise of technology is probably never going to end, people are still wanting to consume published literature.
If you are actively encouraging your child to read more, why not start them off with a selection of short stories? These are easy to consume and the size of them isn't overwhelming. Once they've started small, they can then move on to books that contain more and more pages each time. Before you know it, you'll have the bookworm child you've always longed for.