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As Kids Grow, Parents Spend Less Time on Social Media



Parents with children under six years old spend more time using social media than those with older children. This is one of the findings of a new survey conducted by Media Audit and featured on eMarketer.

Starting with 67.1% (for parents with kids under six), the study saw a gradual but steady decrease in usage ending at 55.2% for parents with kids over 18. My guess is that the decrease is based on two factors, parental age and lifestyle.

Though there are exceptions to the rule (Elton John), most sources quote the mean age for a first baby at 25 to 27 years old. So the top level of responders in this survey are in their early-thirties and under. That alone, will account for more social media usage.

Lifestyle also plays a part in parental usage for as the kids get older, the schedule usually gets busier. Where the first group of moms are often home alone with a new baby, desperate for some social contact, even of the virtual kind, moms with older kids are running to soccer games and ballet class so there is less time for online.

The good news for marketers is that the “Under Six” families are not only online more often, but they’re also actively engaged in buying stuff. 77.6% said they were looking for new computer equipment, 72.4% were in the market for a new car and 71.8% were contemplating a household appliance. Face it, a new baby changes everything and there is no end to the items a new parent needs.

If you have a product aimed at families with young children, ramp up those social media efforts because according to Media Audit, you’ve got yourself a captive audience.

  • Josh

    I’d also wager that some of that time on social media is sharing pics of video clips of the kids. I know my wife and I are uploading stuff all the time (our son is 2). Social media is great way to reach out and connect with other young parents as well as sharing what’s new with the kids with the rest of the family. Then of course as you’ve noted kids grow up (I miss the burrito wrapping days already), schedules get busy and updates become less frequent.

  • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

    Man what is wrong with America when we put our kids ahead of social media needs!

    Thank God for smartphones because while my social media has the potential to be derailed by taking kids to annoying sports practices and giving them a life at least I can tweet while I’m driving from soccer to football to baseball practice to piano lessons. I don’t have to be off the social graph for more than 30 minutes at a clip so I won’t miss the latest inane chatter. I can’t wait til that Facebook chip can be implanted to keep on all the time.

    Excuse me, I have to pick up my pain in the butt daughter from her debate team practice. Wait for me social media world…..please……wait for me!

    Too much? Well, it was kinda fun to write………:-)

  • http://www.orbitalalliance.com Simon Yohe

    This whole survey is misleading…. like previous comment above… yes, parents are spending more time on social media outlets like facebook to update photos and such of their kids, and yes, those demographic groups are probably interested in purchasing a computer, appliance, etc.. but this survey doesn’t reflect whether or not this demographic is actually purchasing these products through social mediums.