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Where are the children who play hide and seek in the streets, fly kites, jump ropes, ride bicycles, play with dolls and cars, spend hours building a Lego’s castle during their childhoods’ golden age? They are no longer easily found in the outside areas around their neighborhoods.
Instead, infants are hiding themselves and replacing their group activities on a sunny day for more and more solitary pleasures under their home roofs. One in four Brazilian children uses the Internet, according to research done by the Comitê Gestor da Internet (CGI), the Internet Manager Committee.
In the same report, the group reported that 90 percent of children surf the web to play video games and do homework. Video games, especially Internet games, are holding children’s attention who stare at a computer screen for hours and hours.
Children are also becoming familiar with modern technologies, such as smartphones that allow users to access the Internet just by touching the screen with a finger. They can download games on their phones, and play for long periods, which can represent a regression in their social activities and developments.
The research showed that 42 percent of the children, from five to nine years old, access internet from their homes, and 29 percent of them usually are by themselves when they use of it. Contradictory to previous studies that showed more children in the 13-18 age group used social media, research shows that one third of the children from five to nine years old are engaged in social media.
The most common websites used in Brazil are Orkut, Facebook, and Twitter. While kids are spending their times in social media, adults are not engaging themselves as much on the same websites. According to the website vagas.com.br, which receives résumés and job applications online, out of the 54,000 resumes registered, 8 percent of 30-34 year olds have a profile on Facebook, 9 percent use Twitter, and 11 percent use LinkedIn.
For people older than that, the estimate is even lower, with only 4 percent that use of Twitter, and 5 percent that use LinkedIn and Facebook. The general social media public is made up of those under 24 years old. Adolescents use Twitter the most at 44 percent, Facebook at 43 percent, and LinkedIn at 25 percent.
Brazilian social media users are not balanced in numbers. Children and teenagers use the technologies because they grew up in an environment surrounded by the innovations. Now adults and the elderly are following online trends by trying to insert themselves in the same environment.