Facebook has become a part of youngsters’ life now. The numbers of Facebook users are rising day by day in India. The increasing Facebook obsession is creating tension among parents since the children show more interest in using Facebook than any other form of entertainment.
The recent TCS GenY survey uncovers this increasing trend among the urban high school students across India. Survey points out that only 0.71 percent of urban students use television for entertainment while the number of school students who use Facebook increased from 17 percent in 2009 to 85 percent now.
The survey says that Facebook is the favorite among students to connect with their peer group. Other social sites like Orkut and India-based networks like Apnacircle, iBibo and Hi5 have more popularity only in mini-metros compared to metros. As per the survey reports Twitter has not yet achieved much popularity among children in India.
The survey finds out that 84.3 percent of urban children in India use internet from their homes. The students who use internet at cyber cafes have decreased from 46 percent in 2009 to 20 percent now. “Research for School” is the main access for students to use computers at school and most of the time it is followed by the social reasons like chatting/connecting with friends and listening to music. 74 percent children use internet for school-related research. The number of Indian students who access internet through PC is 68 percent.
Other findings of survey say that among gadgets children prefer mobile phone for communication. Survey figures 79 percent children who own mobile phones. 59 percent of students make voice calls to communicate and the 45 percent use email as a mode of communication. Interestingly 33 percent of students spent more than one hour on internet every day and 34 percent prefer IT as the first option for a career.
It is true that Facebook has a screening system where the birth date of the applicants is being asked and those below the prescribed are rejected. But the children are clever enough to create accounts through false birth dates.
Federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) has been restricting the children under 13 who post personal information on Facebook that can be publicly viewed. The act forbids sites from the knowing disclosing of children’s personally identifiable information. “We are very concerned about kids eliding around COPPA’s restrictions,” Federal Trade Commission chair Jon Leibowitz said. The findings prove that even these restrictions are not enough in front of our clever children.
The consumer reports’ survey also says that only 18 percent of parents make their child a Facebook friend. Parents are largely unconcerned about their children since only 10 percent of parents of kids 10 and under had open talks about appropriate online behavior and threats.
All the surveys reveals out the fact that the future generation is very much technology oriented. When the basic instinct to communicate itself is accomplished by social networks like Facebook, addiction towards technology is increasing on children. The time when the social values replace scientific values is not far away.
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