From the most recent AVG Digital Diaries study among Boomers and Seniors, of those with grandchildren, half of those surveyed feel technology makes it easier to communicate with them. The study, released by AVG Technologies (NYSE: AVG), the online security company™ for more than 200 million active users, reveals that Australia’s grandparents are using email (41 per cent), texts (34 per cent) and video conferencing tools like Skype (29 per cent) to keep in touch with their grandchildren.
Michael McKinnon, AVG’s Security Awareness Director, said: “As our families scatter, more and more Australian grandparents are connecting with their grandkids online rather than over the Sunday roast. Gran’s brag book is being replaced by videos of every toddler milestone being held in their smartphones and iPads. And tinkering in the shed Gramps is now more likely to be sharing an online game between visits. And we can see from this survey that grandparents are playing an active role in helping their grandkids play safely in their online world.”
Just under half (46 per cent) of Aussie Boomers and Seniors with grandchildren say that, thanks to technology, they are able to communicate more with their grandchildren than they did with their grandparents. And there are a number (16 per cent) that spend more time communicating with their loved ones online, rather than face to face.
Grandparents have recognised that today’s children face a vastly more connected world than the one they grew up in and this is reflected in the advice they told AVG they were giving.
As they take an active role creating a safer Internet and better online habits for young family members, they are being vocal in urging their grandchildren to restrict what they share online (50 per cent), to talk to an adult if anything upsetting happens online (46 per cent) and to remember that everything they post will be there forever (43 per cent).
“One of the great advantages in having grandparents about is that they aren’t the parents! From their trusted position they can often use their experience to make a ‘suggestion’ to their grandchildren that would not necessarily be accepted if it came from mum or dad - ‘who don’t know anything’,” McKinnon observes.
Importantly, grandparents also advised their grandchildren to think about how much time they spend online (40 per cent).
“In today’s busy world, parents have a tendency to use technology as a babysitter. Whereas, because grandparents were brought up in a tech-free era, they are perhaps more aware of the benefits of limiting the time young eyes and brains spend online,” McKinnon said. “As easy as technology makes staying in touch, there is no substitute for real life connections.”
AVG Digital Diaries Study – Australian Boomers and Seniors
Of those who have grandchildren (63 per cent of the sample):
- 41 per cent communicate with them via email
- 34 per cent via text
- 29 per cent via Skype or other video conferencing
- 5 per cent via communication apps such as Whatsapp!
- 8 per cent have bought an app (for a phone or tablet) as a present for their grandchildren
- 33 per cent have played games with their grandchildren on a device like a phone or tablet.
For what advice they give your grandchildren about technology, the results were as follows:
• Not to share too much information online – 50 per cent
- To tell their parents or grandparents if anything upsetting happens online – 46 per cent
• To remember that everything they post online will be there forever – 43 per cent
• Not to visit any dangerous sites – 43 per cent
• Not to talk to strangers – 42 per cent
• Not to spend too much time online – 40 per cent
• 33 per cent don’t give them any advice.
AVG commissioned an online survey interviewing 5,907 respondents over the age of 50 to identify device ownership and usage, and attitudes towards technology in: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. The market research company Research Now carried out the fieldwork during November 2014 using its proprietary panels.
The company surveyed 608 Australians over the age of 50 about their technology habits and opinions as part of its ongoing AVG Digital Diaries research.
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About AVG Technologies N.V. (NYSE: AVG)
AVG is the leading provider of software services to secure devices, data and people. AVG’s award-winning consumer portfolio includes internet security, performance optimization, location services, data controls and insights, and privacy and identity protection, for mobile devices and desktops. The AVG Business portfolio, delivered through a global partner network, provides cloud security and remote monitoring and management (RMM) solutions that protect small and medium businesses around the world. For more information visit www.avg.com.
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