Are Kids Tired of Being Online?

Family Kids & Youth Wellbeing and the Internet Study has tracked UK 7-16 year olds for 4 years. This new research looks at how online behaviour during lockdown has affected their mental health.

Family Kids & Youth first launched its ‘Wellbeing and the Internet’ study in 2018. Run every year since then, the study now has tracking data which charts the change in children’s media use, including the growth of influencers, and how social media has supported them through lockdown.

Having spent the last decade looking at the impact of social media and gaming on children, from Facebook and Grand Theft Auto back in 2009, to Zoom and Roblox this year, FK&Y is well aware that concern about children’s online media use has not diminished.

Children’s media landscape attracts many headlines, and this has often been associated with a direct causal link to children’s mental health. Having tracked this for the last four years (and presented to CMC in 2019), this year we looked at the long-term impact of Covid-19 on children. We wanted to establish the benefits and the drawbacks of lockdown for children, and their reliance on the internet. What do children gain from using social networking and gaming sites? What are the effects on children’s mental health through their engagement with online media?