July 15, 2012 - 17:50 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - According to research from the World Health Organization, Israeli children ages 11-15 spend more time surfing the Internet than kids their age anywhere in the world. And when it comes to TV time, Israeli kids took the silver medal – losing out to Armenia in terms of hours spent watching the boob tube, Ynet News reported.
The WHO findings indicate that 28.5% of Israeli children in this age group spend at least four hours a day surfing the Internet. To compare, only 3.8% of Swiss children in the same age group spent a similar amount of time on-line. Over a third (35.8%) of Israeli 11 to 15-year-olds spent more that four hours a day watching television.
Dr. Yossi Harel-Fish, head Israeli researcher for the WHO and head of International Research Program on Adolscent Well-Being & Health at Bar-Ilan University, said that the fact that a third of Israeli children spend most of their free time on the unsupervised Internet, full of temptation and harmful content, should be a cause for concern among parents and professionals.
"The adult population is not aware or skilled enough in the ways of the Internet, its advantages and dangers," Harel-Fish said. "This means that our ability to supervise and allow responsible, safe Internet usage is weakened as long as the technology accessible to young people increases."
Addressing the issue of watching television, Harel-Fish clarified that there had actually been a decline in screen time. In 2002 the number of children who watched four hours a day of TV or more stood at 47%, compared to the 35.8% in 2011. However, it's no cause for celebration. According to the researchers, children who abandoned TV moved to the computer. And despite the decline, Israel is still No. 2 in Europe, after Armenia, in terms of the amount of time kids spend staring at the small screen.