Small screen users make switch to smaller screens

THE screen time tides have turned after research found children now spend more time online than watching TV.

Australian kids aged between six and 13 spend an average of just under 12 hours a week online, almost double the time spent on the internet in 2008 Roy Morgan research found.

Internet usage, including at school, home and elsewhere, increased by an average of 42 minutes a year.

In 2016 the internet overtook TV as the most time consuming form of media for children.

In 2008 Australian children spent 14.5 hours in front of the TV. This declined to 10.5 hours in 2016.

But Roy Morgan found Australians aged 14 and above are still spend more time watching TV than using the internet at home.

Changes in how Australian kids spend their time.
Changes in how Australian kids spend their time. Roy Morgan Research


How much time do your children spend online a week?

This poll ended on 28 February 2017.

Current Results

Less than one hour


1-3 hours


4-7 hours


8-11 hours


12-14 hours


15-18 hours


More than 18 hours


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Australians 14+ watch more than 18 hours of television a week on average, compared to more than 19 hours of using the internet.

Six hours of that internet time is spent online at school, work or elsewhere rather than at home.

On average, Australians spent almost five hours more watching TV than using the internet when home.

"As of last year, Aussie kids now spend more time each week using the internet than watching television," Roy Morgan Research CEO Michele Levine said.

"However, not including the hours spent online while at school or out and about, TV remains the more popular medium at home. The trend indicates that it could be a few years yet before kids are spending more of their quality home-time in front of a computer (or tablet or mobile) than the television.

"The internet is taking time away from TV in large part because it's what many kids now treat as television. Watching online videos is the most common internet activity, something two-thirds of kids do in an average four weeks. Almost one in four kids say YouTube is their number one favourite website."


Time spent watching TV and using the internet at home and elsewhere
Time spent watching TV and using the internet at home and elsewhere Roy Morgan Research