Technology a hot button issue for families


Only 7% of parents, when asked about their family’s technology use, said they typically buy the latest and greatest gadgets and 53% said they choose to buy new technology when prices drop. Additionally, 83% said access to new technology in school has opened new worlds of possibilities for their children and only 29% of respondents opposed having the U.S. government subsidize computers for families even if it means raising taxes. These findings, among others, were revealed in a recent online survey about kids and technology from Disney (

In addition to focusing on technology use at home and in school, the recent survey asked what gadgets are most desired by kids today. According to the results, the top three tech toys on the wish lists of respondents’ kids were the Nintendo Wii, an iPod and digital cameras. As kids continue to ask for more and more new gadgets at younger ages, Disney created an online tech timeline to help parents understand what technology is appropriate for kids of all ages.

Further survey findings include:
40% of respondents’ children have cell phones. Of those, 36% are responsible for paying all or part of their cell phone bill.
48% of respondents age 25 – 34 said their child(ren) began using a cell phone at age five or younger.
While 80% of respondents are worried about online safety, 26% of respondents’ children age eight or younger are allowed to access the internet alone.
81% of respondents’ children have provided a personal email address to register for a site online; 69% have uploaded a photo online and 59% have used online chat/instant messaging.
49% of respondents identified the internet as their first source of information about online safety.

“After reviewing the survey findings and reading the conversations parents are having on Disney, it’s clear that parents are welcoming technology into their children’s lives, but aren’t sure how to make the experience safe and secure,” said Emily Smith, vice president of Disney Online’s Family Group of Sites. “To address parents’ concerns and answer some of their questions, we developed the “Get Plugged In” resource on Disney and enlisted technology experts to help guide parents to make the best technology decisions.”