online gaming: Majority of Indian parents say their kids addicted to social media, OTT: Survey

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A majority of urban Indian parents surveyed have said their children are addicted to social media, OTT and online gaming platforms while one-third of respondents admitted that addiction is making kids aggressive, according to a survey by LocalCircles.

It further revealed that 73% of urban Indian parents surveyed want the data protection law to ensure mandatory parental consent is sought for children under 18, when they join social media, OTT/video and online gaming platforms.

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The survey received over 46,000 responses from urban Indian parents located in 296 districts. About 62% of respondents were men while 38% of respondents were women. Nearly 47% of respondents were from tier 1, 35% from tier 2, and 18% respondents were from tier 3 and 4 districts.

“Gadget addiction by children between ages 9-18 has become the new reality. The addiction, in some children, is leading to impatience and aggression, lack of concentration, memory issues, headache, eye and back problems, stress, anxiety, communication issues, lethargy and even depression,” according to the survey.

What is even more alarming is that in many cases, the parents surveyed by LocalCircles reported not even knowing the various social media, video and online gaming apps their children are using.

Given the amount of inputs and concerns received on LocalCircles on the issue from parents and grandparents across India, LocalCircles conducted a national survey to understand the key issues they are facing with their children spending excessive time on social media, OTT and online gaming platforms as well as understand what they feel about parental consent for accessing such platforms.

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According to the survey, 61% of urban Indian parents of children between ages 9-17 conceded that their children spend an average of three hours or more each day on social media, videos/OTT and online games. “37% of parents surveyed shared their children spent the most time watching videos/OTT; 35% indicated that their children spent the most time on social media and 33% indicated that their children are into online gaming,” it said.

Nearly 73% of respondents stress parental consent for children under 18 years should be “absolutely” necessary for signing up on social media, OTT and online gaming platforms.

The survey brings to the fore that young children between 9-17 years are increasingly becoming hooked to social media, online gaming and video/OTT platforms.

“What this means is that platforms will be required to deploy more checks and balances to know when a child is creating an account and ensuring that the right processes are deployed so the child’s parents give their consent,” it said.

LocalCircles said it will share the findings of this survey with key stakeholders, including various ministries.

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