More than half of children admitted to sleeping with cell phones, according to an annual survey on the use of modern technology among young people.
The average time children between the ages of seven and 16 spend on their mobile phones daily is three hours and 20 minutes.
Scientist Simon Leggett says cell phones can "dominate children's lives." Given that phones are so often on hand as "private and personal technology," Leggett says it can make it difficult for parents to restrict their children from using them.
Majority of children sleep with their phones
The survey included 2,200 children in the UK between the ages of five and 16 and showed how important the role of cell phones is in the lives of young people. 57 percent of them kept their cell phones by the bed all the time, and 44 percent said they felt very uncomfortable if they had no telephone signal. Of those, 42 percent said they never detached from the mobile phone and never shut it down.
Facebook not popular with younger generations
And the phones of more than 70 percent of children are connected to the Internet.
Cell phones are also a major entrance to a child’s internet journey, whether they use it to chat, watch entertainment or get information. Young people listen to music on their cell phones much more often than on the radio. YouTube remains dominant and is used daily by 61 percent of children.
Snapchat, Instagram and this year’s rising star Tik Tok and WhatsApp are used regularly, but Facebook is not among the top ten apps in this age group.
"The moment when a child has his or her own cell phone can be a challenge for parents to monitor what the child is looking at on the internet because it is such a private technology because they are literally holding it to themselves," commented Leggett.