The last twenty years have seen change across the UK in the everyday lives of people. The rapid growth of the internet, and subsequent connected technology, has created an online eco-system which did not exist in the early ‘90s. It is now easier than ever to access information, as well as share content with peers. Mobile technology has not only made communication more convenient, but changed the concept of a phone from a calling device to an all-round information and entertainment hub.
Our technology has become ‘smarter’, with more and more devices connecting to the internet, refreshing their content to prioritise what it deems most relevant for the user, and storing information in ‘the cloud’ so that content can be accessed anywhere and across different platforms. As a result, the public have become more reliant on technology to go about their day-to-day lives, particularly due to the integration of the internet into most activities.
The shift to technology over the last twenty years has fundamentally changed the lives of children and young people growing up in 2015, in comparison to previous generations. Most children have never been a part of a world where the internet is not omnipresent. As a result, the way modern children engage with technology is significantly different to generations before them.
Our report aims to highlight the progression of the internet and its associated technologies over the last twenty years and make predictions of how children will interact with technology into the future.
Using past data on ownership, usage, and attitudes of children and young people from the last twenty years of the annual CHILDWISE Monitor survey, Trendlines have been generated which show the progression of technologies and their usage. These Trendlines have then been projected to predict how technology usage and ownership will change over the next few years, based upon our previous data.
The report profiles the main technologies of the period, beginning with the dominance of the television in the 1990s, through to the growth of the internet, widespread adoption of mobile phones and, more recently, tablet computers.
The report also highlights some of the potential future technologies which could come into the market in the next few years. These new products are analysed based upon the success of their predecessors, to give an indication of when they may become popular among children. It is hoped that through the combination of these methods, an overview is given of how childrens’ media lives may change moving into the future.