Contrary to some concerns, children in Germany are not glued to their smartphones as far as their media consumption goes. They are actually still interested in a variety of media, both online and off, though consumption patterns are definitely influenced by the overall digitalization taking place today. Additional factors changing and shaping how children approach media on a daily basis are increased mobility, the rise in using mobile devices for viewing, reading and listening to media content, as well as growing public WiFi coverage in urban areas.
There are also a number of issues accompanying children's media-based experiences in the digital age in particular, with access to online content becoming easier, quicker and more widespread. These include online safety, both in terms of ensuring the consumption of age-appropriate content, and protection from abuse and trauma through third parties, as well as balanced consumption time to avoid negative effects on physical and mental health. Adults are therefore very much connected to children's media consumption, whether in families, schools or specifically those producing media targeted at an underage audience.
Devices and content
Media in itself is a very expansive, large-scale term including many elements, especially with digital technology seeping into and affecting all areas of daily life. Essentially understanding media usage patterns among German children is split into looking at media as a device and from the content standpoint. Younger children tended to use some media types less frequently when alone, for example the radio or watching videos online, as well as just browsing the internet. Meanwhile, older age groups showed increased consumption of newer media forms, such as mobile phone or tablet games. This may also be connected to the simple fact that a very young child may not yet own or be given a mobile phone or tablet to play on. On average, within the 6-13 age group, 12-13-year-olds watched TV for 1.5 hours a day, compared to a little over an hour for children aged 6-7 years. Daily internet usage time increased among older children. Most parents surveyed stated their child owned a smartphone, a smaller share said a computer or laptop.
Do children still read books?
Yes, they do. 44 percent of German children expressed interest in reading, stating they liked to do it, while only 5 percent said they did not like reading at all. Surveys revealed various favorites among the younger German reading audience, some of them also familiar to the previous generation. Across age groups, most children were reading the Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling. Another popular pick on the list was The Three Investigators (Die Drei Fragezeichen) series by Robert Arthur Jr. In 2019, 34 percent of German teenagers read books daily or several times a week. Most children and teens still read printed books, though some also included e-books and tablets in their reading experience.
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In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 29 most important statistics relating to "Media usage among children in Germany".