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Pew Gauges Parents’ Reactions Towards Children Using Technology In 2020 Versus 2021

The Pew Research Institute conducted a survey, mapping reactions from parents to their children using technological devices, and how such behavior has changed over the pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic almost seems like a buzzword in tech articles, even in 2022. The effects of the pandemic on social conventions, especially as how they pertain to the usage of technology, still linger on to this day and may have left indelible marks on the industry’s future. Mobile gaming, for instance, oversaw a massive upshot in sales and generated revenue, with the practice of game apps having been so deeply entrenched in pandemic-era gaming that smartphones are now considered to be legitimate consoles. Zoom overtook Skype and became the home of mass video-conferencing in a matter of literal days. Despite a notable shortage of electronic chips breaking out in 2020, mobile and desktop sales continued to climb higher and higher. Our reliance on technology, and our general awareness of its dangers too, perhaps, were so heavily impacted by working from home and lengthy periods of isolation that there seems to be no turning back to how things were. Our technological reliance is now here to stay, for at least a decade or so.

Naturally, children were perhaps the most affected by all of these changes, with kids already being more attuned to tech than their parents or other elder individuals. Schools across the world had also introduced the concept of studying from home and online classes, which led to these youngsters becoming more and more familiar with tech devices, for better or for worse. Accordingly, Pew Research had parents weigh in on the matter and present their own opinions as they may pertain to the discussion at hand. Two surveys were conducted, with the first being held in 2020, and the second being held in 2021, potentially to compare attitudes and perceptions during and post-COVID pandemic.

Most parents agreed that smartphone usage in their kids climbed up from 2020, at 63% of the sample population, over to 71% in 2021. TikTok consistently remained the most popular social media platform, with usage going up from 13% in 2020 to 21% in 2021. Facebook and Instagram saw mild elevations in usage, while Snapchat maintained a state of stagnancy. Views on technological use also fluctuated between years, with many of the individuals who claimed that their kids used tech devices a normal amount in 2020 stating that things had gone too far in 2021. However, a sizable 44% of the sample population still maintained that their children were doing just fine with the amount of screen-time they had.
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