The survey found that the older the child, the more they would communicate through social media platforms. Children in big cities are more inclined to communicate online as well. Credit: iDrop News.

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Remember when, you were a child, and you went outside to play. There were no video games, no internet — if you were lucky, you had a soccer ball, or a football.

How times have changed.

According to a report sent to The Global Times on Monday, more than 40% of Chinese parents believe their children are “addicted” to mobile devices.

And while it concluded that social media contributed to children’s friendships, it also hurt family relationships.

Chinese children aged 10 to 17 on average spend four hours and 36 minutes on mobile devices during the Covid-19 epidemic, two hours and six minutes more than before, according to a report released by Beijing Answer-Child Markets Consulting Ltd. Co.

According to the report, 31% of parents who participated the survey thought their children spend too much time on mobile devices, while 43.5% believed the children and teenagers are “addicted.”

On average, Chinese children and teenagers use 2.51 social media apps, among which WeChat, QQ and Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, are the most popular ones, Global Times reported.

The survey also found 23.5% of children and teenagers said that they “always try to reduce time on mobile devices,” and 41.5 percent of them sometimes do so.

The report surveyed 1,208 parents on young children and teenagers’ use of social media from village-level to first-tier cities, Global Times reported.

The older the children, the more they would communicate through social media platforms. Children in big cities are more inclined to communicate online. 

Using mobile devices could help children and teenagers develop friendship, the report said, but their family communication, relationship and activities are affected, Global Times reported.

Chinese parents could relatively respect children’s privacy on using mobile devices, the survey also said.

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