It’s the summer which means that even surveys that state the bleeding obvious make the newspapers. Latest is one from npower which says that Britain’s youngsters spend 10 hours a day in front of TVs, computers, phones and videogame consoles. The clever folk at npower even have a name for them: ‘screenagers’, of course.
The survey of 3000 seven to 16 year olds reveals that four in ten kids spend most of their time in their bedroom because all their favourite gadgets are in there. And that the TV, despite facing increasing competition from computers and games consoles, is still the main source of entertainment for this age group racking up an average of 19 hours viewing time per week.
Children spend up to 49 minutes each day texting, 38 minutes surfing the net and one hour playing video games. Says Clare McDougall, education programme director from the energy firm npower: “The summer holidays are traditionally a time when you expect children to be outdoors playing with their friends. But the lure of technology has made it harder to get young people to switch off.”
Of course, it’s sad that a whole generation is missing out on cycling to the town centre to hang around the bus shelters or ‘bombing’ unsuspecting mates in the local swimming baths. But maybe they’re having more fun in the holidays than the days when Why Don’t You was the height of on screen entertainment.