A government report on media use by young people, that ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman says is sure to inform further debate about digital media literacy, has found 76% – 92% of parents surveyed find it easy to manage their child’s use of the Internet. The report also found that most young people do not have internet access in their bedroom (as little as 3% in the case of 7 – 8 year olds and 13% in the case of 15 – 17 year olds).
The Use of electronic media and communications: Early childhood to teenage years report brings together ACMA’s research on media use by 8-17 year olds and new findings about 3-4 and 7-8 year olds from the Australian Institute of Family Studies study Growing Up in Australia; The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.
According to the report, the majority of parents of younger children found it easy to manage their child’s internet use (97 per cent of parents of 7–8s including 69 per cent very easy; 92 per cent of parents of 8–11s including 50 per cent very easy). Only twenty-two per cent of parents of 12–14s and 24 per cent of parents of 15–17s found it very or fairly difficult to manage their child’s internet use.
The report also states that the majority of parents in both studies (86–95 per cent) found it very or fairly easy to manage their child’s video/computer gaming.
Maybe it’s time politicians stopped using that old excuse about how censorship is needed because parents don’t know how to manage their children’s access to the Internet and video games. I think it’s long overdue.