70 per cent of Taiwanese parents use Facebook to raise children: survey

PHOTO: Reuters

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- With the arrival of the smartphone era, at least 70 per cent of Taiwanese parents acquire information on rearing children from Facebook, according to a survey released by the Ministry of Education (MOE) on Wednesday.

The MOE held a press conference on Wednesday on the topic of promoting family relations by using computers, communication, and consumer electronic (3C) products to "read together, play together, and run together".

During the conference, the MOE introduced its strategy through which families can educate their children with 3C products and released a survey report to back up their event, "The family relationship by using digital technology and social media"

Authorized by the MOE to conduct related surveys, head of the Family Research and Development Center at the National Taiwan Normal University, Lin Ru-ping, said electronic devices such as smartphones and computers have become new educational tools for Taiwanese parents.

Lin stated that more than 30 per cent of Taiwanese parents play mobile and computer games with their children.

Furthermore, over 70 per cent acquire child-rearing information from Facebook, and over 85 per cent of those parents raising children younger than the threshold for preschool also gain child-rearing information from the popular social media platform, according to Lin's statement.

Compared to their American counterparts, Taiwanese parents were found to be more accepting of employing digital technology when bringing up their children, however they are also more concerned about their children's use of the devices as well. Conflicts between parents over the use of digital technology in child-rearing has also become a common occurrence, Lin said.

Lin also stated that with the growing popularity of 3C equipment in Taiwan, 77 per cent of people have computers, 80 per cent possess mobile phones, and 83 per cent use the internet. Moreover, Taiwanese spend an average of 3.5 hours per day over a week and a daily average of 4.5 hours during the weekend using the internet.

Line and Facebook have become common communication tools among family members as well, according to Lin's findings. Regardless of age groups, around 90 per cent of Taiwanese use Line, and over 70 per cent of Line users have created family groups. Nearly 76 per cent use Facebook, and around 45 per cent of users create family groups - a phenomenon that is more likely found among older users of the social media platform.