German youngsters spend 63,7 hours of their week online, study reveals
Homework, scrolling and posting in the group chat - young people in Germany are spending more time online each week than they would in a full-time job.
German kids spend more than 60 hours online each week
According to the new Jugend Digitalstudie ("Digital Youth Study") by Germany’s Postbank, young people in the federal republic are spending the equivalent of 2,5 days on the internet each week.
This is up from pre-pandemic levels when children in Germany were spending around 58 hours online each week, but down from figures during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2022, youngsters were spending an average of 67,8 hours per week looking at their screens.
Speaking of the results, Commissioner for Narcotic Drugs and Addiction for the German Federal Government, Burkhard Blienert, explained that young people in Germany had become more addicted to life online during the pandemic years and made an appeal to their responsible adults. “Children and young people have to learn early on, from their parents and also at school, what is a healthy amount of time to spend using tablets, laptops and other devices,” Blienert said.
While young girls and boys are spending time on their mobile phones, boys are marginally more likely to reach for a tablet for their scrolling time. In both groups, the number of teens who are likely to use a computer to go online is comparatively low, 48 percent for boys and just 20 percent for girls.
Schools should reduce children’s internet dependency
Since the coronavirus pandemic brought the classroom to the kitchen table, the amount of time children in Germany are required to spend online to complete their schoolwork has also increased. In 2019, schoolchildren were spending 2,5 hours online each day to do homework - in the spring of 2023, the same figure had reached an average of 4,3 hours each day.
For Blienert, schools in Germany have a special responsibility to teach children about media competency. He pressed that while children must learn how to use new technologies, schools are responsible for teaching youngsters to recognise when the amount of time they are spending online has become unhealthy.
The commissioner explained that unhealthy internet use and addiction can be recognised when people begin to neglect necessary life tasks because they can no longer control how much time they spend online.
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