October 24, 2007

Parents view the internet less favorably than in 2004

Washington, DC –Parents are engaged with their children’s media consumption, but have less positive views of the internet today than they did in 2004. A new data memo issued by the Pew Internet and American Life Project based on a telephone survey in October-November 2006 found that 59% of parents think the internet has been a good thing for their children, down from 67% in 2004.

“The fact that the biggest increase has been in the number of parents who think the internet has no effect on their children suggests that parents are beginning to have a more nuanced view of the internet,” says Alexandra Rankin Macgill, author of the report. “It is a grey technology that can be helpful or harmful depending on how you use it.”

Most parents check up on their teens’ internet use — 65% say that they check to see what websites their teenagers visit. An even larger percentage of parents have rules about media consumption; 77% of parents have some sort of rule about their teenage children’s media use.

The majority of parents also say that digital technology makes their lives easier, but their children are even more positive about the benefits of digital devices. 88% of teens report that information and communication devices make their lives easier, compared with 69% of their parents.

About the Pew Internet & American Life Project The Pew Internet Project is a nonprofit initiative of the Pew Research Center and is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts to examine the social impact of the internet. The project is non-partisan and does not advocate policy outcomes: http://www.pewinternet.org