Report: Digital Dads Versus Just Dads
Earlier this week, we looked at how dads differ from moms when it comes to their perceptions and use of digital technology at home, compliments of Ipsos Media CT. But how about cutting-edge dads versus regular dads?
Euro RSCG Worldwide took a look at how fathers who are early-adopting "prosumers" stand out from the crowd in terms of how they bring new media and technology to their kids. The agency and Market Probe International surveyed 1,000 dads in the U.S.
The firm says the comparison was easy to tease out because every survey it does has an algorithm built in that spotlights trend-setting "prosumers." In this case, 14% of the survey base were early-adopting “Digital Dads” in the study's argot, while 86% were mainstream consumers, called “Average Joes.”
The study found that 75% of Digital Dads and 63% of Average Joes think new technologies and greater access to information are making their kids smarter. Around the same percentages believe kids who grow up without Internet access at home are at a disadvantage.
Nearly half of Digital Dads (48%) say it’s important to them that their kids have the latest and greatest in high tech, while just 24% say they can go without. But the situation is reversed among Average Joes -- only a quarter of these dads believe their kids need the newest tools and models, and 40% say they don’t.
While both the cutting-edge fathers and the more mainstream dads think digital technologies will have a “mostly positive” impact on their children’s formative years, most also see new gadgets as a distraction. About 70% of Average Joes and 60% of Digital Dads believe new technologies are too much of a distraction for their kids and are impairing their ability to communicate face to face. About three-quarters of Average Joes and 64% of Digital Dads worry that digital communication is making the current generation of young people less proficient in the English language.
Paradoxically, digitally savvy dads seem more proactive when it comes to limiting kids' time on digital devices. Sixty percent of them -- versus half of Average Joes -- limit the amount of time their kids spend online; more of them also send their kids outside to play.
Digital Dads are more inclined to see technology as a binding -- rather than repelling or alienating -- force in family life. Forty-three percent of Digital Dads (vs. just 27% of Average Joes) believe digital technology and entertainment are creating a stronger bond between parents and their teens. A majority of Average Joes believe new technologies are creating more of a divide between the generations.