The most tech-savvy kids ever: discovering the Alpha Generation

Children born since 2010 in a BNP Paribas - Cardif research study

These are the children with smartphones in their strollers, as portrayed in the research commissioned by BNP Paribas Cardif, one of the top ten insurance companies in Italy (Ranking ANIA 2019), and conducted by Friendz, a Tech & Social company that listens to digital communities to obtain small data and unpublished insights.

The study was carried out with an innovative approach that involved the involvement of about 1.

The study was carried out using an innovative approach that involved about 1,000 parents with children aged 5 to 10 and 100 children through the app, with interaction based on questions and answers, but also images and drawings.

So let's look at the data that emerged, what is the relationship between children and technology?

#device - According to parents, 62% of 5- to 10-year-olds start using technological devices before the age of 5, and the age of access to technology is lowering year by year: among children who are now 5 years old, more than 65% are already familiar with technology.

#device - Children prefer mainly smartphones (62%) and tablets (55%), with the former being slightly more common among older children, aged 8 to 10 (67%). Boys use more tools, including gaming consoles (34%), compared to 16% of girls.

#ownership - 53% can boast at least one device they own exclusively, though only 9% enjoy complete autonomy in use, while 45% are always controlled by their parents and 46% are sometimes. Thirty-seven percent of 8- to 10-year-olds own a smart phone. Among males, ages 8 to 10, there is also a good percentage who own gaming consoles (44%).

#digitalactivities - What do they use electronic devices for? Of course to play games (50%) and also to watch videos and cartoons (21%) and follow lessons (10%). From 10 years old, the social function "to write to friends" makes itself felt, with a jump of +50% compared to the previous age group.

#time - On average, they use technological devices 107 minutes a day, a little more for children from 8 to 10 years old (121 minutes) than for the youngest (93 minutes). More specifically, 53% spend an average of between one and three hours a day using a tech device, 36% less than an hour, 8% between three and five hours, and 3% over five hours. The most addicted to devices? They are the boys between 8 and 10 years old, who for 7% spend more than 5 hours a day (for girls it is 4%).

#social - Only 10% of the children of the Alpha Generation is subscribed to a social. That doesn't mean, however, that they don't know and use them anyway. Among the most popular social media outlets are YouTube (63%), TikTok (53%), Instagram (25%) and Facebook (19%). Their use varies greatly by gender: girls are much more interested in creating video content to share (59%) than boys (32%), who, by contrast, are more likely to be "passive" users of social media: 54% watch content but don't produce any.

What do children know about cyberbullying and what control measures do parents take?"

In general, about half of parents (46%) said their child knows what cyberbullying is. Approximately one in ten (9%) has then encountered such episodes; a figure that becomes much more worrisome in the 8/10 age group (16%) than in 5/7 year olds (4%).

#parental control - In order to protect their children from cyberbullying, parents resort mainly to the control of their children's devices (84% say they control them) and to the use of parental control software (39% use them, 48% know them but do not use them and only 12% do not know them at all). Among these, TV software (53%) and social filters (35%) stand out. The use of ad hoc insurance policies against cyberbullying, on the other hand, is lower, with 88% of parents not knowing about them.

Not only technology: inclusion and environment

Technology and hyper-connection do not close children in a shell made only of virtuality: the Alpha Generation is sensitive to environmental issues and open from a social and relational point of view.

Thirty-three percent of children have friends of different ethnicities, and 85% of them have equal numbers of boys and girls in their friend groups. Reflecting how poorly the differences between boys and girls are perceived, children asked about different occupations in association with a given gender answered "both" in almost every case. Everyone can do everything from washing dishes to being President of the Council.

And confirming their green soul, 15% want to do jobs related to caring for animals and nature.

39% of children in all age groups know and care about recycling, while 43% - especially in the 8-10 age group - are very active with green projects at school.

In partnership with BNP Paribas Cardif