Keeping a close watch on their children, nearly six out of 10 parents in Mumbai said they have access to the former’s social networking accounts, in a nation-wide survey released on Wednesday that polled 12,365 high school students.
While Mumbai topped the survey with 58% respondents stating that their parents had access to their social media accounts, other metros such as Delhi (57.7%) and Bangalore (47.5%) closely followed. The Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) conducted the survey across 14 cities which included metros as well as tier-2 towns.
The survey also found that 51% parents in Mumbai kept tab on the online activities of their sons. In Delhi, however, more than half of the girls said that their parents closely monitored the social media.
Interestingly, the social media penetration among youth in smaller towns was significantly higher than metros. For instance, students from tier-2 towns such as such as Bhubaneshwar (92.3%), Lucknow (88.4%) and Kochi (88.6%) were more active on social media as compared to big metros such as Mumbai (86%) and Delhi (87.1%).
Some parents in Mumbai admitted that they ask their wards to share their social media usernames and passwords. “I trust my son, he is extremely responsible on social media, but I have access to his passwords,” said Priti Batavia, a parent from Juhu. “I have also educated him on the pros and cons of social media.”
Parenting experts attributed the trend to Mumbai parents being more aware of instances of online bullying and need for cyber safety. “In Mumbai, we often hear of cases of children becoming victims of cyber bullying, fraud and other malpractices on the social media,” said said Seema Hingorrany, psychologist.
She added that city children are also more prone to latchkey syndrome as they are often alone at home for long hours, making them more vulnerable to sharing personal information with friends on social media. “I had a case of a child who used to spend eight to nine hours a day on the social media because he used to be home alone,” said Hingorrany.
Other findings of the study:
* Over 50% of the respondents use social networking sites to complete school assignments
* Three-fourth of the sample surveyed, shop online
* Online shopping is more popular among boys than the girls
* Electronic gadgets are the most popular online purchases, 7 in 10 respondents reported buying them
* A similar proportion also purchased books
* About 6 in 10 respondents use video chats
* 72% use the instant messaging application WhatsApp, highest usage across cities. Usage among boys is much higher than that among girls
* Usage of online resources for studies: 68% use Wikipedia, 52% use PDFs and 50% online videos
* 59% used online resources to keep up with current affairs and news