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Dr Barbie Clarke presented FK&Y’s new research on children’s wellbeing and their use of the internet at the annual CMC conference last week. Our on-going research has taken place over the last 18 months, with the latest wave carried out 3 weeks ago, including peer-to-peer focus groups, as well as quantitative research with 1,000 young people aged 7-16 years old, carried out with our partner Panelbase. The report shows a rise in the popularity of social media in 18 months, and highlights gender differences in the use of both social media and gaming, but interestingly no real evidence to suggest that either is causing harm to the majority of children and young people. Even with the increased use of gaming, when it comes to children’s well-being, gaming ranked 20th on their list of concerns. However 67% of 11-13 and 69% of 14-16 year olds believe that ‘Sometimes using devices can get in the way of my family talking to each other’. Children’s main concerns relate more to the world they live in rather than the world on screen. With the technology advancements surrounding them, it is interesting to note that family and friends still rank numbers one and two as the common aspects that make both boys and girls happy.

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