Internet is already our children’s best friend. And then?

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The music video has less than three minutes and an unforgettable chorus. It’s called ‘Bath Song’ – ‘Bath Music’ – and has been played over 2.25 billion times on YouTube. It is the most viewed video on the “CoCoMelon Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs” channel, in turn the second YouTube channel with the most subscriptions and views worldwide. He is in charge of the channel “Ryan’s World”, an eight-year-old boy who evaluates toys and has the attention of 23.5 million subscribers. “El Reino Infantil”, a group of children’s songs in Spanish, has 29.5 million. It makes sense for content aimed at children to have this weight: one in three internet users, one is a child. And YouTube is the biggest gateway, to the point that in 2015 “YouTube Kids” was created, with content only for children up to 12 years old.

“The first contact with the internet happens almost always through music and educational videos”, says Cristina Ponte, professor at FCSH at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and specialist in Children and Media. The aim is to entertain but also to teach. “They pay more attention to the visual and auditory components” when choosing the content, hence the taste for cartoons: for 79% of Portuguese children between 3 and 8 years old this was the main activity online, according to the study “Crescendo entre Ecrãs”, published in 2017. Only 8% of the children surveyed said they “read digital story books” on the internet, but 40% already admitted looking for information on web, and already 12% spoke with family and friends by video call.

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