- The overwhelming majority of UK parents and children say their family relationships are enhanced as a result of mobile technology
- 95% of teenagers feel safer leaving the house with their mobile phone, 76% cite the ability to get hold of their parents if they need them as the reason they feel safer
- 9 in 10 kids believe technology means they have more opportunities than their parents, with one in two feeling sorry for the dull lives their parents had in the pre-mobile world
- Despite the prevalence of mobiles in homes across the country, a third of parents say they don’t know enough about the technology their kids are using
- Vodafone launches its free Digital Parenting Guide to help parents and teachers better navigate and understand the online world
Over seventy percent of British parents believe mobile technology is strengthening the bond they have with their children, new research published by Vodafone UK reveals today. The research was undertaken to mark the launch of Vodafone’s Digital Parenting Guide, a free resource to help parents, teachers and those who work with young people better navigate and understand the digital world.
The study, conducted with 1,500 parents and 500 young people, also reveals the extent to which mobile technology is now woven into the fabric of modern family life. 75% of under 18s believe their relationship with their family is closer thanks to mobile, 69% admit the first they do in the morning and the last thing they do at night is check their phone while one in two feel sorry for the dull lives their parents had in the pre-mobile world.
With mobile now an intrinsic part of family life, parents and kids also agree that mobile technology is helping them overcome the traditional conflicts over safety and boundaries as children begin to assert their independence:
- Almost 90% of parents say they have greater peace of mind knowing their children have access to a mobile phone
- An astonishing 95% of young people say they feel safer leaving the house with their phone, primarily because they can get hold of their parents if they need them
Young people are also using their access to technology to redefine the way they build relationships and keep in touch with friends:
- 89% agree that mobile technology means they are able to enjoy closer relationships with friends
- One in two young people feel more empowered to express themselves thanks to technology – with girls in particular (56%) stating they feel more confident over text or online messaging than talking face to face.
However, despite the overwhelming benefits to family life, a third of parents worry they don’t know enough about mobile technology, with more than a third of parents of 10-17 year olds admitting their kids know more than they do when it comes to technology.
Cindy Rose, Consumer Director, Vodafone UK, commented: “The digital world is often painted as a picture of doom and gloom but this research tells us quite a different story. Mobile technology is enhancing and strengthening family bonds, forming an invisible safety net that is allowing families to overcome traditional conflicts; giving children their independence and parents peace of mind. At the same time mums and dads admit that they need a bit of help, so I’m delighted to be launching Vodafone’s newest Digital Parenting Guide this week to support parents, and others working with and supporting children, to better navigate the myriad which is the digital and online world.”
Launched in 2010, more than one million Vodafone Digital Parenting Guides have now been distributed in the UK. The latest edition, which will be available for free in Vodafone stores across the country, will also be available in as a digital download on Google Play and iTunes. The 48 page magazine will also be available to order for schools via ParentZone.
For more information, parents can visit http://www.vodafone.com/parents
Notes to editors
About the research
Vodafone conducted two online surveys in February amongst 2,002 randomly selected British residents aged 12+ who are Springboard UK panelists.
- 502 young people (aged 12-21). The sample was nationally representative of this age group by age, gender, and region
- 1500 parents. This sample was nationally representative of UK parents by age, gender, and region