Unsurprisingly, the results of the most recent NETendances survey, which provides a portrait of the use of the Web and digital technology in Quebec, reveal that 76 % of young Quebecers aged 6 to 17 have spent more time in front of their screens since start of the pandemic. Let's take a closer look at the results.
The most recent NETendances survey, carried out by the Academy of Digital Transformation, focused on the digital uses of young people aged 6 to 17, based on testimonials received from their parents. Information was collected in October and November 2020. First, let us mention that, since 2019 (year of the last survey), the rate of young Quebecers who use electronic devices at home or elsewhere has been fixed at 97 %. What has mostly changed with the pandemic is the number of devices used as well as the time of use and the uses themselves.
Thus, 89 % of young people now use more than one device (electronic tablets, laptops or desktops, video game consoles, smartphones, voice assistants, music players), an increase of 18 % since 2019 And 67 % even use three devices, an increase of 40 % compared to previous results. We can assume that, in several cases, a specific device for remote school was added, as well as some video game consoles.
A few interesting numbers in a row
- 80 % 13 to 17 year olds use a smartphone, making it the most widely used device for this age group. Among 6 to 12 year olds, the electronic tablet is the most used device, with 77 % users.
- The gap between boys and girls regarding the use of video game consoles is still very present (79 % for boys compared to 42 % for girls).
- Devices designed only for listening to iPod-type music are used by only 22 % young people.
- The older the parents (45 and over), the more computer use is noted among children.
- Family income does not seem to have a significant influence on the type of device or the number of devices used.
According to their parents, 59 % of young people aged 13 to 17 spend, on average, more than 10 hours on the Internet each week, of which 41 % even spend more than 15 hours on the Internet. Considering that secondary 3, 4 and 5 adolescents are in hybrid education, this statistic is not surprising. In fact, among 6 to 12 year olds, who are in school most of the time, only 27 % spend more than 10 hours online each week.
What do young people do when they are online?
It seems that the pandemic has led young people to diversify the activities they do online. Watching video (eg on YouTube) remains the most popular activity, but has declined from 86 % to 79 %. The increased use of digital technology in education accounts for a large part of activities for young people.
- 76 % of adolescents and 51 % of 6 to 12 year olds say they use the Internet in a school setting, for example to do research.
- 62 % for adolescents and 27 % for 6 to 12 year olds follow a school education program (full or part time).
- 38 % of young people visit educational sites.
The other most popular activities for elementary school children are: :
- Play online, alone or with friends (63 %)
- Watching series or movies on the Internet (e.g .: Netflix) (43 %)
- Visiting entertainment websites (42 %)
- Communicate by video (eg: FaceTime) (40 %).
Here are the main activities for high school youth
- Play online, alone or with friends (70 %)
- Watching series or movies on the Internet (e.g .: Netflix) (63 %)
- Visiting entertainment websites (62 %)
- Send text messages (64 %)
- Use social networks (consultation, publication, interaction) (64 %).
Note that 78 % of adolescents have a personal profile page on a social network and that playing online games, alone or with friends, is the activity that has increased the most in a year, going from 60 % in 2019 to 66 % in 2020.
The pandemic may have led parents, and we can understand this, to be more permissive regarding the digital uses of their children. Indeed, 83 % of them mention having rules governing the time of use of their children or the nature of the sites they can visit. This percentage is however down by 5 % compared to 2019.
We also note that the supervision rules are used more by parents of young people in primary school (91 %) than by those of young people in secondary school (71 %).
Finally, many parents (57 %) consider as somewhat or very likely the risk that their children will be victims of bullying on the Internet, whether by peers or by strangers. This is a marked increase of 13 % compared to 2019.