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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jewett

Screentime during lockdown – how kids see it

It can be hard, during the Covid-19 crisis, to minimise or manage your child’s use of screens. Left more often to their own devices, kids aged 12 to 16 have doubled their internet and social media use from 3 to 6+ hours a day, says a new Cybersmile Foundation report.

So how do our digital-native kids feel their relationship to tech is affecting them – and do they think parents can help them if they need it?

Cybersmile – a charity that tackles online abuse and cyberbullying and promotes kindness, diversity and inclusion – talked to 1,000 UK children aged 12 to 16 about screentime, smartphone addiction and their parents’ involvement in their online lives and found that…

  • 60% feel that the time they spend online negatively impacts other important areas of their life including sleep, diet, exercise and study

  • 46% consider themselves addicted to their smartphone

  • 18% would like their parents to help them more with reducing the amount of time they spend online

The new Digital Wellbeing 2020 report is an illuminating snapshot of girl/boy attitudes and behaviour, asking…

1) How much time do you spend online each day?


5-6 hours 28% 12%

3-4 hours 24% 40%

7-8 hours 20% 4%

9-10 hours 9% 2%

10-12 hours 7% 1%

1-2 hours 6% 38%

13-14 hours 2% 1%

15-16 hours 1% <1%

17-18 hours 1% 1%

No time online 1% 1%

More than 18 hours <1% <1%

Less than 1 hour <1% 1%

2) Do you feel that the amount of time you spend online negatively impacts other important areas of your life such as sleep, diet, exercise or study?

Yes, a little 51%

No, not at all 40%

Yes, a lot 9%

3) Would you consider yourself to be addicted to your smartphone?

No 52%

Yes 46%

I don’t have a smartphone 2%

4) Does your internet or social media use negatively affect your mental and/or physical heath?

No 65%

Both mental and physical 14%

Mental 12%

Physical 9%

5) Would you like your parents to help you more with reducing the time you spend online?

I don’t want to reduce the amount of time I spend online 49%

No 32%

Yes 18%

6) Would you feel comfortable going to your parents with an online-related problem?

Yes 82%

No 18%

7) Have you ever felt that your parents’ internet or social media use has affected their ability to look after you?

No 89%

Yes 9%

My parents don’t use the internet or social media 2%

Have a look at Cybersmiles full Digital Wellbeing 2020 report in all its infographic glory here

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