It’s a smartphone generation – of parents.
A study found that almost half of all parents – 43% – have “no idea” how people raised their children before everyone had smartphones.
The research also found that mums and dads regularly use smartphones to shop for their children and use them to seek advice up to 77 times a week. 61% say this is the most helpful tool in raising their children.
The UK-based study, via OnePoll.com surveyed 1,000 respondents with children under the age of 6 in partnership with telephone company Three UK.
With the ability to search on your device, there is also more data available, as 34% admitted they had to top up their data plan for the extra phone usage, with most parents still exceeding their data limit by five gigabytes per month.
“We know the important role phones play in people’s lives. Research shows that role becomes even more important after you have a child – your phone becomes an important asset to your family,” said Three UK’s Aislinn O’Connor of the study results. “Playing the role of entertainer, doctor, connector and much more in everyday life.”
It’s not just parents’ concerns sifting through data. The study found that 36% of parents ranked downloading and streaming content for their kids as one of their biggest data leaks, with an average of 12 hours of streaming per week.
When parents were asked what they use their devices for most, 67% said they use it to take photos, 62% to send WhatsApp messages and 60% to check the weather.
Three UK has also partnered with Father and musician Professor Green to highlight the importance of being connected through your phone as a new parent.
“When I became a father, I found out that phones become second or third pairs of hands,” Green said. “They are an excellent source of information and advice, connecting you to your support network when you need it most.
“All the things you used to take for granted about your phone suddenly become a blessing for parents,” Green pointed out. “That’s why it’s so important to help people who need a connection, like new parents.”