It might purely be confirmation of what many mom and dads have already known for a while, but new research on Thursday showed that kids and teenagers have more confidence and knowledge of communications technology than adults.
The research by U.K. communications regulator Ofcom said that a "millennium generation" of 14- and 15-year olds are the most technology-savvy in the U.K. It also states that six-year olds claim to have the same understanding of communications technology as 45-year olds.
The study compiles answers from nearly 2,000 adults and 800 children and calculates an individual's "digital quotient' score, or DQ. More than 60 percent of people aged 55 and over have a below average DQ score, it said. Six-year olds have a score of 98, 15-year olds have a score of 113 and 45-year olds have a score of 96.
"It shows that we hit our peak confidence and understanding of digital communications and technology when we are in our mid-teens; this drops gradually up to our late 50s and then falls rapidly from 60 and beyond," the Ofcom report said.
These young adults are the first generation to benefit from broadband communications while growing up and are developing fundamentally different communication habits than older generations, it said, even when compared to the advanced 16-24 age group above it.
"Children aged 12-15 are turning away from talking on the telephone. Just 3 percent of their communications time is spent making voice calls, while the vast majority (94 percent) is text based - such as instant messaging and social networking," Ofcom said.
"Older generations still find it good to talk: 20 percent of U.K. adults' communications time is spent on the phone on average."
The same report also finds that the average U.K. adult now spends more time using media or communications than they do sleeping. It added that 16-24-year olds spend the most time on media and communications and cram over 14 hours of media activity into 9 hours 8 minutes each day by multi-tasking with different screens.