Children’s access to internet is not a new topic. However, with the proliferation of smart phones and children’s access to smart phones, minors are having easier access to internet these days. Experts are of the opinion that while internet may harm minors, it could also be a great learning tool for them if used properly (source). Safety and privacy issues are also of great importance while minors are on the net. That is where the big question comes in– how do you define and ensure proper access to internet by minors? A report from the UK states , “Almost 30 per cent of parents allow their children to access the internet without any restrictions or supervision, with one in eight letting toddlers aged two or under go online. Just one in seven wait until their child is at least ten before allowing them access to the internet.” In the USA, the percentage of American teens who engage with social media multiple times a day has gone from 34 per cent in 2012 to 70 percent in 2018. Almost similar scenario exists in Asia due to its increasing coverage of internet, keeping in pace with the growth of their emerging economies. For example, a recent report states that more than 90 percent of Chinese minors aged up to 18, can now access internet through mobile phone and over 64 percent of primary school children have their own smartphones.
Based on the internet access scenario for minors and teenagers, what are the challenges and opportunities for marketers? What do you think?