A study conducted by a Beijing research institute concluded that internet access for youngsters under age 14 should be limited, particularly the filming and viewing of live-streaming videos. It also concluded that parents should supervise their use of mobile phones.
The Beijing Children’s Legal Aid and Research Center released its findings on the Children’s Internet Protection Act on Wednesday, The Paper reported, citing the China Youth Daily.
Adolescents are not always able to differentiate right from wrong and are not fully self-aware, the center found, noting that childhood internet addiction can have a significant negative impact.
Live streaming on social media platforms is said to be one of the most addictive types of internet activity, with children reportedly spending significant amounts of time filming, watching and sharing short clips.
Why do they enjoy it so much? A 12-year-old boy told a China Youth Daily reporter that his parents were very strict about studying, rarely permitting him to play outside. However, through live streaming, he said he was able to stay up to date with trends, and playing online games made him feel connected to his peers.
The study advised parents to spend more quality time with their children, ensuring that they have rich experiences that make them feel content with reality. This discourages children from seeking short-term happiness in the virtual world, which can lead to serious internet addiction.
The center also suggested that the authorities should step up efforts to prevent underage children from registering on live-streaming platforms. Internet enterprises should also have measures in place to prevent children from using their parents’ accounts, said the center.