kids-appIt’s probably not massively surprising to anyone that kids are engaging the digital age at younger and younger ages. Nevertheless, it may be a bit jarring for some to learn that the average age that a child gets their first smartphone is now the tender age of 10.3. TechCrunch’s Jay Donovan reports that he got a sneak peek at a study that reveals some surprising actualities about today’s “digital natives” growing up on the internet.

The study was a 70-question survey that polled 500 women in the United States. Donovan sums up the findings thusly:

  • The average age for a child getting their first smartphone is now 10.3 years
  • Tablets have surged from 26% to 55% usage as kids’ device of choice during car rides. Smartphones trail at 45% (up from 39% in 2012).
  • 64% of kids have access to the Internet via their own laptop or tablet, compared to just 42% in 2012
  • 39% of kids get a social media account at 11.4 years. 11% got a social media account when they were younger than 10.
  • While 85% accessed the Internet from a room shared with the family in 2012, that number dropped to 76% today, and 24% now have “private” access from their bedrooms (compared to 15% in 2012.)

The study was performed by a group called Influence Central, a marketing firm who is clearly interested in using this information to give clients a better perspective of the demographics of modern tech usership. The report documenting the findings is entitled “Kids & Tech: The Evolution of Today’s Digital Natives,” but it has yet to be published by Influence Central.

See also:

14 best kids games for Android

September 14, 2016

If you’re curious as to why the sample only includes women, the company’s CEO Stacy DeBroff explains that the survey is a followup to a previous 2012 study that queried only women, so the sample was chosen to maintain consistency. The survey used questions like “If you purchased a smartphone/cellphone for your child, what age was the child?” Other surveys have previously pegged the average age of a child when they receive their first smartphone at 6 or 7, but serious doubt has been cast on these studies.

What are your thoughts regarding this generation of children being raised with smart devices in hand and increased access to the internet? Is it healthy to give these developing minds access to these powerful tools, or should some aspects of our technological society be withheld for older ages? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!

Next: 10 best Android apps for kids

  • Richard Branches

    Oh God, this is crazy…then what’s next? A newborn baby using a smartphone while leaving the uterus?

  • Armand Bernard

    I believe internet access should be limited to certain sites until at least 10 years old. internet access should be supervised until 8 years old. they shouldn’t be provided with internet access before maybe 6 or 7.
    As for smartphones or tablets, there’s no real earliest age limit. Maybe 5 years old.
    Just make sure to control the apps they get at that point.
    Again, this is just my opinion.

    • Mohamed Salim

      no no no no no I hate restrictions I got my phone at 10 and before that I was never given restrictions on the internet it’s unfair if other kids get restrictions

      • Eleazar Parham

        Every kid is different though. You probably didn’t go onto porn sites and watch stuff you weren’t suppose to but some kids to that and being exposed to certain things at a young age can mess with there mental state. In my opinion kids should be able to use certain apps on a smartphone or a be able to use a dumb phone until they prove they are mature enough to access the web

  • snoop doge

    one of the cringey things is seeing a little kid with a tablet or a phone bigger than his face and hands and using it like a pro

  • Will Serrano

    Kids can use the internet for fun and games like we did in the 90s with reasonable time constraints and time limits. Smartphone use for kids is ridiculous. They can get them when they can afford them in my opinion. 10 years old? At this point we’re just trying make our kids look like everyone else’s because they have it, too.

    • Gibbs

      Wanting to look like everybody else is causing people a lot of trouble!!!

      I personally would buy mine(imaginary child :D ) if he was a tech savvy otherwise maybe when he’s 15 or something

  • Mohamed Salim

    Their is nothing wrong with kids getting phones at 10 or even younger in my case

    • Jai Raymon Ritter

      if you had kids yourself you’d change your mind

      • MadJoe

        I have kids and I don’t feel this way. I think as long as they’re ready to be responsible with such an expensive device and as the parent you’re responsible about the way you allow them to use it, they are fine to have a smartphone as early as 8 or 9. My daughter is 9 and unable to take care of simple things like a handful of legos, so no smartphone for her just yet. She does get to use a tablet, but she’s misplaced that a few times too. So it will probably be her 18th birthday by the time she’s ready, but not all kids are as irresponsible.

  • Jarrad TexasMade Blackshear

    I agree that there is nothing wrong with a child having a tablet or a smartphone as long as the parents use the various ways out there to limit the usage time as well as allow only certain apps and websites to be accessed.

  • Jai Raymon Ritter

    I thought it was cute when my 1 and a half year old was scrolling through photos and playing educational games on my phone. but as he grew he got more obsessed and started throwing tantrums when we didn’t give it to him. its not just him, I see kids acting out all over because of not getting their way with devices. He’s 3 now and very very rarely gets my phone. adults can’t control the behaviour when it comes to phones, you think children can?

    • Mason Jerkins

      You deserve a cookie.

      • Jai Raymon Ritter

        That’s not really relevant now is it.

        • Mason Jerkins

          Eh… I guess. Just saying that you nailed that comment though, and if I could give you a cookie, I would. You’ve earned it.

          • Jai Raymon Ritter

            Haha all good, cheers mate

  • Jarrad TexasMade Blackshear

    I guess it all depend on how kids are taught and then disciplined. My daughter had to earn her time on the tablet . Nowadays people handle kids with kiddie gloves and thus their kids end up running the household. In essence, it’s part of the reason our society is going to shit…rant over

  • Arol Wright

    Excuse me, but I don’t see the problem here. We all had Game Boys when we were 10, and took them everywhere. And most of those kids use smartphones for playing little games.

    Sure, social network access should be restricted until they have age for it, and internet access should be monitored. Parents should borrow and check the phone at times. But I honestly prefer to buy a smartphone for a child instead of buying a tablet + dumb phone.

    Note, if those kids had Instagram or Facebook, now that would be a problem.

    • allansm

      Yes, your son/daughter is different than everyone else’s. Really.

      He/she won’t be watching porn or adult content on it. I’m sure. He/she is different.

      Really.

      • MadJoe

        Why is porn the first thing people think of when kids and internet access are mentioned? Are you so hooked on it that you can’t imagine anyone who isn’t? I know what my kids “google” and look at on their profiles, and they have no idea I know, yet none of them are looking at porn. Your kids must have been raised by savages if that’s the first thing they go for the moment they get internet access.

    • Eleazar Parham

      Yeah I see a real problem though. My sister started messing around with smartphones when she was 5. My parents had the same opinion about it the situation that you did until they found her watching weird stuff on YouTube and she started cussing and saying stuff you wouldn’t normally here a young child say. Now that they have taken it away she’s been a lot better. They let her get on the computer now sometimes but only websites they allow. On smartphones it’s easy to hide things and harder to stop children from seeing things.

      • Gibbs

        Well depends on what kind of stuff you’re talking about :D I used to see a lot stupid stuff on YouTube when I was a kid. And then stopped when I realized it’s stupid

    • Cross Maou

      are u comparing a gameboy to a smartphones!?!?!?!

  • Brian Ward

    We just bought my 9 year old an iPhone to track her when she’s about, so she can communicate with family, and to develop mobile technology savvy. However, she isn’t the type of kid who spends all her free time on it and she is not allowed to use it during ‘family time’. This is a little counter to what others are expressing here, but I want her to develop more of an affection for technology. She could basically care less.

  • allansm

    I work in an educational setting. Those on here that think preteens on smartphones aren’t a problem are delusional. They’re more prone to addiction than adults are; this is verifiable.

    Simple as that. Your son and/or daughter WILL BE LOOKING AT ADULT CONTENT.

    Only a complete and utter fool thinks otherwise.

    • Mohamed Salim

      how can you be sure of that do you know ever kid on the planet that has a phone? and you found porn in their devices?

  • Loser.lon

    my children will have to work to get their own phones mwhaha

  • MJ

    I would say closer to 12 years old but first PC at 5 which should be plenty of time so they can demonstrate the ability to troubleshoot/maintain a Windows PC (maybe Linux also) and learn some coding before their first smartphone.

  • Jonathon Rios

    Kids these days can barely pick their nose without missing or take a shit and not get it all over the seat, how they ever figure out technology is a huge mystery to me when none of them can even take out the trash or do some dishes for their parents who enjoy getting disrespected on the daily and think handing them whatever they want will eventually make them stop, then boom their thirty years old hooked on dope and asking you for $20 every six hours.

    • Mason Jerkins

      Ha Ha… you don’t know my life ? I’m 14 and I’m triggered when I see my peers at the mall with their nose burried in their iPhone 6s they their mom got them. “Gotta take this selfies fam” I mean I like tech and stuff don’t get me wrong I’m not a fifty year old talking about “You spoiled whippersnapper”. I’m actually a fourteen year old talking about “you spoiled whippersnapper”. good day, sir.

      • Mason Jerkins

        These typos. I don’t deserve to live anymore. The grammar Nazis will take care of me.

  • Mason Jerkins

    I feel like I was raised a little differently than most of my peers. I got my first smartphone in January, and I’m 14. I can already see the replies, “W..W…WELL I DIDNT GET MY KID A PHONE UNTIL HE WAS FIFTEEN, Y…Y…YOU SPOILED BRAT” I actually spent the past year mowing lawns and working for the sound crew at our church to save up for my Nexus 6, no regrets. I always talk to my friends and they’re always like “My mom got me this new iPhone 6s for Christmas”, and my friends on average seemed to GET (not buy) their first smartphones around age 7. Also I wanted to mention, the first day I came to school with my Nexus, I got a beautiful assortment of comments. “EWW WHATS A NEXUS!!! WHERES THE APPLE LOGO??? WHY IS THE BACK CURVED??? etc” and things such as “WHAT IT RUNS ANDROID EEWWWW I HAD A GALAXY S2 AND IT SUCKED SO UGLY LOLOL” no joke. But I love rants like this honestly. I counterattack pretty much everything with “Android did it first.” Except for imessage and facetime. It’s basically Apple took hangouts, ported it to ios, and copyrighted it so only iPhones can use it, just so us Fandroids have to deal with “OHMAHGAWD ANDROID ES STUPID NO FACETIME OR IMESSAGE LOL SUCK IT PHEASENT”. Android N ftw. Proud owner of an “apple watch rip-off”, AKA moto 360 first gen, that came out about 6 months before the apple watch, and an iPhone 6s+ rip-off.

    Also… who started this whole all Android all androids get viruses thing? I was talking to my iPhone 6s friend the other day and I told her about launchers, and with the most serious expression on her face, says “Well, you just downloaded a virus.” This is the same person that hated her S2 and never touched Android again after that. Because “iPhones just work.” Tell that to Siri. “I’m sorry, I did not understand. Do you want me to search the internet for, iPhones wet dirt?” And also the all androids have crappy cameras, because the S3 camera was bad. I feel this is where 90% of iPhone fans get there testimonies from. “My [insert old SAMSUNG phone here] had a [insert bad spec here or ugly], therefore all Android phones are terrible, laggy bricks.” Laggy bricks? So the iPhone 4, 4s, 5 and 5c (and maybe 5s) never happened? OK then.

    OK I’m done.

    • sdelfin

      That “iphones just work” bit is so annoying. My Android phones all worked great. You could say they did/do more than just work. Nice job saving for your phone and being an individual by getting the phone you wanted.

  • wcjeep

    It doesn’t seem this survey takes into account hand me downs. My old devices become a media player for my daughter.

  • Gibbs

    Well I had my first phone(sensation) when I was 12! And it was the best thing ever happened in my life! But I used to be obsessed with technology or science in total when I was a kid.

    I don’t think it’s wrong to give them their own phones around 11-13!!! But you just have to tell them that there are a lot of trolls on the internet and social media is stupid :D If I had a child it would all depend on the use. If my child was like me I would totally buy him one!! Don’t see anything wrong with that!! But the first week I lost 6kg and because I even spent the dinner time using it but eventually it got normal for me and I use it normally

  • havarka

    I would never give mine child a smartphone, people need to learn to deserve things and not get everything for free, sooner one learn this better for him

  • Mohamed Salim

    finally someone who is 14 like me and agrees with me I am always seeing adults and they are saying until your 18 you should not get a phone

  • Cross Maou

    horrible, horrible parenting…..

  • 3223

    I was 12 when I got my first phone. A Nokia 3310. Aah, brings back nostalgia. I remembered being one of them coolio kids with a phone, and sms was the bomb back then. Oh how times have changed.

    But I’ve seen how toddlers these days can’t even live without an ipad or any tablet in front of them. Take that away and they become screaming beasts. I guess technology has really taken over our lives now..