BERLIN, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Children in Germany are growing up with both analogue as well as digital media and leisure activities, according to results of a joint study by six German media companies published on Tuesday.
The study examined media consumption and user behavior of 2,649 children in a representative study of the 7.26 million children between the ages of four and 13 in Germany.
Despite increasing digitalization, children do not withdraw into the virtual world, the study shows.
Leisure activities such as "being together with friends" or "playing outdoors" are very important on average across all age groups.
At the same time, the digital experience on tablet, smartphone or computer becomes more and more relevant with increasing age. Some 71 percent of 13-year-olds use such digital devices at least several times a week compared to 7 percent among the four-year-olds.
However, 70 percent of children in Germany read books or paper magazines at least several times a week. Electronic reading tools play little role for the target group of four to 13-year-olds. This year's study reaffirms last year's results, that children still prefer to read on paper.
The use of paid streaming or free video services becomes more important as the children grow up. For example, 35 percent of 13-year-olds use YouTube, Vimeo or other free video services at least several times a week for movies, television series or entertainment shows.
Mobile phones are frequently used by German children and the rate quickly rises with growing age. While every second nine-year-old uses a mobile phone, 97 percent of the ten to 13-year-olds communicate on their mobile phones and smartphones at least occasionally. For this age group, WhatsApp is used by 74 percent, leaving Facebook and Instagram behind with 31 and 17 percent respectively.
The topics that children are interested in also depend on gender. Girls are particularly interested in horses and pets, while boys are interested in sports, cars and super heroes. With increasing age, children from both genders start to develop an interest in current affairs and environmental issues.