Taipei, May 4 (CNA) Constant exposure to digital technology has made children who are addicted to the Internet socially challenged,a trend that is worrying, Vice President Vincent Siew said at a conference on children and the new digital age in Taipei Friday.
Citing recent studies, Siew said a growing number of children are gaining exposure to digital products before reaching school age and coming under the influence of new digital media forms earlier than ever before.
With television, cellphones and the Internet becoming integral parts of everyday life, some children have immersed themselves in the digital world at the expense of their people skills, Siew said at the conference, where communications experts searched for ways to stem the tide and provide children with quality digital content.
At the forum organized by the National Communications Commission, experts and academics discussed the idea of creating a rating system for digital content and reviewed Taiwan's media literacy education.
Nearly 70 percent of children in Taiwan begin using digital products before the age of six, with TV and the Internet having the most influence over them, a recent study conducted by the Child Welfare League Foundation and National Chengchi University indicated.
About half of children participating in a recent study watch between one to three hours of TV every day, but out of the 261 TV channels currently broadcasting in Taiwan, only nine are for children.
Content diversity is also lacking, with over 75 percent of the programming being foreign cartoons, the study showed.
In response to the problem, the commission has requested TV operators to increase their child-oriented programming in exchange for license renewal and passage of content checks, NCC member Weng Hsiao-ling said.
The commission may punish those who fail to air the amount of programming for children promised in their operating proposals, Weng said.
(By Hsu Ya-chu and Scully Hsiao)