Ofcom’s Media Use and Attitudes Report 2023


Type of Resource

Research and Evidence

Publication Date

June 27, 2023


Digital Wellbeing / Gaming  / Online Bullying  / Screen Time / Social Media and Apps 

Communications regulator Ofcom has released their annual Media Use and Attitudes Report that looks at recent online trends and the attitudes of children and parents across the UK.

The report provides an insight into the media use, attitudes and understanding of children and young people aged 3-17. It also looks at how the parents of this age group are monitoring and managing their child’s online activity and their views on the same.

The positives and negatives of being online

The Media Use and Attitudes report gives an overview on the positive and negative aspects experienced by children and young people online.

Ofcom found that children aged 12-17 and their parents often recognised there were benefits to going online:

On the other hand,


Screen time

The Media Use and Attitudes report showed a trend of young people continuing to move away from watching live TV and preferring to instead to stream content or watch online videos.
The number of children gaming has increased, from 6 in 10 in last year’s report, to 9 in 10 in this year’s. When asked why they play games, the most popular reasons given were:
A quarter of children aged 8-17 played games online with people they don’t know and 22% chatted to people they didn’t know when gaming.
WhatsApp and TikTok are some of the most used apps, with about half of all 3-17-year-olds using them. As children get older, their use of different apps changes. For example, despite WhatsApp’s age restrictions being set at 16 in the UK, 25% of children aged 3 and 4 use WhatsApp, with that percentage jumping to 80% in 12-17-year-olds.

Most Used Online Platforms

Blocking, reporting and parental controls

Talking about online safety

The Media Use and Attitudes report shows that lots of conversations about online safety are happening both at home and in the classroom.
By looking at trends in how children and young people are using and thinking about media and the internet, we can better reflect on how to help keep them safer online.

Discussing Online Life With Your Child

The high percentage of parents who are talking with their children about being safe online is encouraging. It’s important that online safety is an ongoing conversation for every family with children and young people.

Welcome to the Online Safety Hub

How old are you?

If you are under 18, click the blue button below to visit the Online Safety Hub micro-site for children and young people.