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80% of Children Under 5 Who Use the Internet Are Regular Users

80% of Children Under 5 Who Use the Internet Are Regular Users

We had to pause when we read that 80% of children under the age of 5 who use the Internet are on their way to becoming as addicted to it as we are: in other words, once kids this age go online, most of them return to it at least once a week.

The finding, from a new study on children's media consumption conducted by The Joan Ganz Cooney Center (Cooney is the creator of Sesame Street), and written by Aviva Lucas Gutnick, Michael Robb, Lori Takeuchi and Jennifer Kotler, also found that kids still spend more time watching TV than they do surfing the web.

The headline was put into perspective for us when we read that much of what kids this age are doing online is essentially the same as what they do when they're sitting in front of the TV: watching videos. So it's not like they're busy bidding up a collector's edition of Thomas trains on eBay or checking their Facebook feeds while we're scrambling to get dinner ready...or at least not yet. Some of these savvy tots, about 36%, are multitasking just like we grown-ups do, watching TV and surfing the web at the same time. So their more active participation in the wider world of the Internet is probably not far off.


Are you surprised, or does it all make sense to you given what you allow your own kids to do and what you see among friends?

via Mashable

Editor's Note: Story updated at 12:58pm PST to reflect correction to statistic: Original story read as if 80% of kids overall were using the Internet, rather than 80% of kids under 5 who use the Internet do so more than once a week.

Image Source: Via the Joan Ganz Cooney Center

Join The Conversation
ClauriceMclaren ClauriceMclaren 6 years
same here, my kids started at age 2 yrs old and play nickjr and pbskids, i see nothing wrong with that.
JacquelynCuller JacquelynCuller 6 years
My son is 3, has his own laptop, he gets on which by the way is his home page. but he also gets on Youtube to search song and watches videos!!!!!! He loves it and I dont see anything wrong with it!!!!! He is very smart!!!!!
DebbieSteele10977 DebbieSteele10977 6 years
My son gets on a couple times a week and plays games. I personally think that he is going to need that knowledge anyway in school. He can type in his own name and can read alot of words also.
CoMMember13631127144631 CoMMember13631127144631 6 years
My older son uses the comp for, and as well as for school related activitieshe is only allowed 30 min a day and 30 min of tv time the rest of his after school days are spent playing outside in the back yard and little leauge baseball. I see no problem with him doing this he has been using these web sights since he was 3 he is now 8 and is a very active child. when my ypunger son turns 3 i will also alow him some computer time. I have bought a ton of educational games for him to play, that will teach him how to count, recognize letters, form short words as well as teaching colors and shapes. they worked great for his big brother to the point that the schools want to test him for a grade skip. Which would put him with more kids his age rather then him being the oldest in his class jsut because his birthday was later in the year.
MaryThomas10987 MaryThomas10987 6 years
I don't allow my kids on the internet unless it is to do research for school, and even then I am right there with them. Our kids use a computer in our living room. I have five kids ages 10, 9, 5, 3, 2. I agree... my jaw dropped too.
VanessaWolford VanessaWolford 6 years
My son is 4 and has access to child-friendly websites. I believe it is the parents responsibility to keep a close eye on what they do on the internet. "parental controls" it's on the computer for a reason.
VictoriaBeckford VictoriaBeckford 6 years
My daughter absolutely Loves to play on! It is an awesome site that pulls games and videos from all the learning sites and puts them in one place. And I love that she can't get onto my desktop on my computer or phone! We love! I will say that she does watch videos on there that she doesn't get to watch on TV. She has been getting on all by herself and I know she is safe when she is playing on the computer.
CleopatraCraker CleopatraCraker 6 years
Same as Jules Lee, my son started using the computer at 3. Now 5, he turns it on, enters the password, chooses the icon to the site he wishes to visit; (nickjr. pbs. playhouse disney.) He doesn't surf the web but he knows how to get around these child friendly educational sites on his own to find the games and videos he wants. He spends more time online learning about planets, bugs, and saftey then watching today's mind numbing excuses for children's programing.
VickiHowell VickiHowell 6 years
My son gets on and plays pbs and nick jr and then he also plays some of his games that comes with his computer. They are called Acer games because his computer is an Acer.
HeidiNestorHilst HeidiNestorHilst 6 years
Our sons have their computer and we set up Kidzui a browsing program that gives parents peace of mind and lets kids browse all their favorite sites like pbs, noogin, nick, and disney. They have learned a lot from all the educational games.
JenniferMahowald JenniferMahowald 6 years
Sorry, my kids are 5 and 7, and they don't use the computer at all. My 7 year old may use it occasionally at school, but never at home. Geez, kids have enough issues with attention disorders... what's wrong with a little thing called "IMAGINATION"?
Rachel3790 Rachel3790 6 years
My daughter started getting on the internet and I don't think she's watched a single show or movie. She plays my games on Facebook or goes to sites like noggin, sprouts, PBS, Disney and stuff like that's she's either searching things checking out what she wants for her birthday or playing games. She's 9yrs old. She started at about 3yrs old. My son is currently 1 1/2 and doesn't get on him self. He will set in my lap from time to time while I'm on Facebook but I can see him doing the same sort of thing as his sister. neither of my children have free time on the internet. My daughter gains her time but getting good grades. Her grades drop she gets less time. It's counted day by day. Our computer is also in my dining room where we walk past all day. So we can see what she's doing all the time, she can't hide She loves it, we love it and it works for us.
ShanikiGrayson ShanikiGrayson 6 years
My son is 2 and gets on my iPad and play games watch movies etc...
CoMMember13628119729386 CoMMember13628119729386 6 years
my 4 y/o uses starfall, pbskids, and netflix by himself. Can they REALLY surf the web if they can't spell or read? Or are they just clicking random, meaningless links. I feel the title of this article is inflammatory, targeting people who are scared of the internet.
MistyDeFabrizio MistyDeFabrizio 6 years
We let our 4 year old daughter connect to the internet for about 1-2 hrs. a day. But only on Nick Jr.s website. She watches Nick Jr. through out the day. It is a great learning channel for preschoolers and so is their website. They have tons of learning games with all her favorite cartoons. She is learning so much from those two elements, plus with what we do with her. I think as long as internet use is supervised and kept within a reasonable time limit there is nothing wrong with it.
JenniferKontonasakis JenniferKontonasakis 6 years
I'll admit my daughters used the internet at age 4. If you go to there are games that teach all sorts of preschool skills. My kids were able to open Mozilla, click on the link to Nick Jr and choose a game at age 4. Now, my first grader goes to the school library once a week and is able to play educational games that track her abilities and provide her with the appropriate challenges for her skills. This is done through the school website which links to a larger program. My Kindergartener has these sites available as one of her free time activities. We are able to access it from our home computer as well. I have no shame in allowing this. In addition to the skills they are using, they are also learning about the computer, which will be important throughout their lives. The important thing is to limit their screen time and make sure they get plenty of non-computer activities as well.
PaulaJacobs91085 PaulaJacobs91085 6 years
I think its good my 6 year old and 3 year old are really competant on the internet, they play lots of educational games, nothing wrong with it at all they are always supervise, they already do this at pre school and school so why not at home, its the modern world
JulesLee79646 JulesLee79646 6 years
my son has been turning on , typing in password, and accessing and other various sites since he was 3. lol
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