We know today's kids are spending lots of time online. The average is 6 hours a day.
This brings us to a big question. Where are they spending their time online?
A recent survey reported by Kidscreen.com revealed that YouTube is the most popular social media platform with 83% of kids tuning in.
YouTube Kids is the second most popular app at 45%.
WhatsApp comes in third at 38%.
Facebook is in 4th place at 35%.
Snapchat is used by 34%.
Instagram is used by 33%.
Messenger is the next most popular at 31%.
Twitter is at 21%.
An app called Wiper has the most ardent users. They spend an average of 112 minutes a day on the platform. Kids engage with YouTube 97 minutes a day.
The most popular time kids are on these apps and sites is around 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. This means many kids are online even during the dinner hour and on into what normally would be evening "family time." Family time is no longer talking and enjoying each other's company. It's about everyone staring into a screen.
This brings us to a big question. What are kids doing online that long each day?
YouTube - 87% watching videos
YouTube Kids - 80% watching videos.
Instagram - 33% posting photos.
WhatsApp - 47% talking to family and friends.
Snapchat - 37% communicating with friends.
This research reveals once again that today's kids are being born into a digital world. From an early age, they can navigate their way through devices. My nephew, who is 2-years-old, knows how to use an iPad and cell phone.
Children's ministries would be wise to take note of how today's kids and their parents spend time online. Many of these platforms can be used to engage kids and their parents during the week.
If we are going to reach the next generation, we must go to where they are.
Your turn. How do you engage kids and families online? What other apps can be used for this? Share your ideas and insight in the comment section below.