Two-thirds of Filipino children now own a mobile phone, according to a study conducted by leading kids’ channel Cartoon Network. If you ever shopped at any SM City mall in the Philippines, you would swear that figure is closer to 100%. I can't tell you how many times I've had to dodge kids at the malls (and adults) that have their eyes glued to their latest text message instead of watching where they're walking. When I'm not in one of my "what would Jesus do" moods I'll just stand there and let them bump into me.
GMA News Online reports that the study, entitled “New Generations 2012,” revealed that mobile phone ownership among young Filipinos are now at 65 percent. This is higher than Australia’s 42 percent and almost triple Taiwan’s 22 percent.
BuddeComm, an independent telecommunications research site, pegged mobile phone penetration in the Philippines approaching at “approaching 100 percent,” and said that Filipinos send an average of 1.8 billion messages a day. I estimate my own asawa sends at least one billion of those daily messages ever since we got that unlimited talk and text package from SUN.
More than half of kids in urban areas of the Philippines have Internet access at home, 54 percent have access to digital cameras, 20 percent have smartphones, and 16 percent have tablets.
Ninety-nine percent claims to have watched TV—a third, or 38 percent, of them from flat panel screens. Our own niece and nephew, that now live with us outside our subdivision in Iloilo City, are among those 38% that watch from a flat panel screen.
The kids are on school vacation and position themselves in front of the only television in our house, located in our bedroom. To be honest, it's too hot for them to do too much else. Once they have their chores from the day accomplished, I'm happy to let them stare at the boob tube all day if they like. My only instruction to them: "Watch what you want, but do not repeat any bad words that you might hear that Uncle Dave also says."
While TV remains the top medium of choice for young Filipinos, Internet is fast catching up. According to the survey, 76 percent of children access the Internet, and 82 percent of those with Internet access at home go online at least once a week.
I'm online from early in the morning to late in the afternoon. My own asawa barely gets to look at her Facebook account once a week. I can guarantee you that our 12-year-old nephew and 14-year-old niece get absolutely zero computer time in our household.
Among Internet activities, online gaming claims the top spot, with 58 percent of Filipino children playing online games daily.
Social media comes in at second, with 52 percent logging on to various social media every day.
Forty-one percent listen to music, 36 percent stream videos, and 23 percent upload and share photos.
But while only 28 percent use the Internet for homework, a surprising seven out of ten respondents claim that they are regular book readers.
Thirteen percent read newspapers and nine percent read magazines.
This, the study notes, shows that “technology doesn’t always win out.”
The New Generations 2012 results were obtained from face-to-face, in-home interviews with 1,000 randomly selected kids from Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao conducted between February 25 and March 26, 2012.
(Photo by benjieordonez
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