2014 Family Communications survey from Filip conducted by Harris Poll examines trends in how parents and children keep in touch
While modern families find themselves overwhelmed with activities and parents often juggle multiple commitments, parents do not believe smartphones are the answer. The 2014 Family Communications Survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Filip Technologies in August among over 2,000 U.S. adults found more than 20 million parents (85 percent of parents with children ages 6-12 in their household)1 do not believe it is appropriate to buy their child a smartphone until they are at least 11-years-old. This is an increase of 21 percent in two years (64 percent in 2012).
“Today’s modern families have complex schedules and need ways to keep in touch with their young children, but smartphones are not the answer”
“Today’s modern families have complex schedules and need ways to keep in touch with their young children, but smartphones are not the answer,” said Jonathan Peachey, CEO of Filip Technologies. “Technology not only helps us manage our busy lives, but we can also use technology to restore a sense of freedom, adventure and connection with our children.”
Other key findings from the survey among parents with children age 6-12 in their household include:
- It’s tough to stay connected – Half of these parents find it at least somewhat challenging to stay connected with their kids during a typical weekday if needed while they are at school, participating in after school activities, etc. Parents in the South (27 percent) are more likely to find it very challenging or challenging to stay connected than parents in the Northeast (6 percent).
- This isn’t limited to just parents in the U.S. according to a recent Ipsos/Filip survey of parents in Europe, with 80 percent of parents in Germany, the UK and Spain wanting their children to be able to reach them immediately.
- Moms and Dads think differently about smartphones – More moms (37 percent) say they believe it’s appropriate to buy a child their first smartphone at age 16 or older than dads (25 percent).
- What do parents want in a smartphone for children – Beyond price (75 percent) the most popular smartphone features for parents with kids ages 6-12 in their household are parental controls (67 percent), ability to track their child (61 percent) and voice calling (53 percent). After price, parents in the Northeast are most interested in features for tracking their children (69 percent). Contrary to conventional wisdom, more dads (57 percent) say they are interested in voice calling features than moms (49 percent).
- Parents in the U.K. are also most interested in being able to find their children.
- Internet access not required – Less than 1 in 4 (23 percent) parents with children ages 6-12 in their household say having internet access is an important feature on a smartphone for children.
So what does this mean for today’s modern family? How will parents navigate through the vast waters of technology innovations to improve the connection with their children rather than disrupt it? And the most important question – what will the face of family communication look like in one year, in five years and in 10 years? These are the issues that Filip Technologies has set out to address by working collaboratively with parents, children and technologists to improve family communications.
The 2014 Family Communications survey was sponsored by Filip Technologies, the makers of FiLIP 2, a wearable phone and smart locator for kids that was selected as the “Hot Holiday Gift of 2014 by CTIA.”
About Filip Technologies, Inc.
Filip Technologies, Inc. develops communication and location-based products and services designed to keep families in touch. Its products combine the two most important elements in family mobile offerings – communications and safety. The company’s flagship product, FiLIP, is the world’s first wearable phone and locator for children. Previewed to rave reviews at CES 2013, its patent-pending technology combines cellular voice with geo-location capability in a device small enough to be worn on a wrist. Founded in 2009 by Sten Kirkbak after he briefly lost track of his young son Filip in a shopping mall, Filip Technologies, Inc. is privately held with offices in New York, N.Y. and Raleigh, N.C. For more information, please visit www.myFilip.com.
Harris Poll Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Filip Technologies from August 13-15, 2014 among 2,016 adults ages 18 and older (among which 233 are parents/guardians of children ages 6-12). The 2012 wave was conducted from December 11-13, 2012 among 2,893 U.S. adults (among which 384 are parents of children age 6-12). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ipsos Survey Methodology
The survey was conducted online in the UK, Germany and Spain in August 2014 among 550, all of which were parents of children 4-11-years-old and between the ages of 28-49 years old.
Filip Technologies, Inc. and FiLIP are trademarks of Filip Technologies, Inc.
1 Calculation based on U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 Census, which estimates there are 234.6 million adults ages 18+ residing in the United States: 234.6M x 13 percent that are parents of children 6-12 = 30.5M x 85 percent that do not believe it is appropriate to buy their child a smartphone until they are at least 11-years-old = 25.9M