Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight

Posted on: 10/19/17 10:54 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Common Sense Media just released a brand new report about the evolution of media use by kids age eight and under.

Yes… eight and under!

If you found it difficult to believe that the average age today’s kids receive their first smartphone is 10 (yes… that’s just the average), then you’ll find it even more intriguing how much and what kinds of technology kids are using in the years prior.

I think parents are slowly realizing that kids are being inundated with entertainment media and technology at younger ages. In my parent workshops, churches no longer just market to “parents of teens”… because they realize parents of 4th graders and 6th graders are watching entertainment from the same sources (YouTube, Netflix) and experiencing the same struggles. In fact, when my publisher and I were discussing the title of my new Teens Guide to Social Media and Mobile Devices …a book that many parents are calling their new “phone contract” their kids need to read before getting their device… it almost seemed silly to use the word “Teens” because we know that many “tweens” were the ones who really needed to read it!

Today’s children age zero-to-eight average over three hours a day with media, 42 minutes on a mobile device. Here’s some random facts I found interesting:

  • 42% of 0-8-year-olds have their own tablet (compared to 7% in 2013)
  • 42% of parents admit that the TV is on “always” or “most of the time” in their home, whether anyone is watching or not.
  • 33% of 0-8-year-olds watch music videos

But by God’s grace…

  • Only 4% of 0-8-year-olds use social media sites like Insta, Snapchat or

That’s why Common Sense Media urges parents to get an early start on setting healthy media habits.

I encourage you to read, or at least skim this new report and see exactly how fast mobile technology is changing the family dynamic. Here’s a helpful infographic with many of the findings: