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UK kids turn to Google instead of grandparents for advice

The Google signage is seen at the company's headquarters in New York January 8, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
The Google signage is seen at the company's headquarters in New York January 8, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON (Reuters) - British grandparents are in danger of being overlooked for advice by their grandchildren, who are more accustomed to searching for answers on the internet, a survey showed on Thursday.

Almost nine out of every 10 UK grandparents claimed their grandchildren failed to ask them for advice for simple tasks, instead turning to online channels such as Google, YouTube and Wikipedia for information.

Answers on how to boil an egg, iron a shirt and even details on their own family history are now easily found by younger generations glued to their smartphones, tablet computers or laptops, according to research commissioned by cleaning products firm Dr Beckmann.

"Grandparents believe they are being sidelined by Google, YouTube, Wikipedia and the huge resource of advice available on the internet," spokeswoman Susan Fermor said in a statement.

"They are aware that their grandchildren, already with their noses buried in a laptop, tablet computer or smartphone, find it much easier to search the internet for instant advice."

The survey of 1,500 grandparents also found that children chose to research what life was like for their elderly relatives in their youth rather than asking the grandparents themselves, with just 33 percent of grandparents having been asked: 'What was it like when you were young?'.

Almost two-thirds of grandparents felt their traditional roles were becoming less and less important in modern family life, with 96 percent claiming that they asked far more questions of their own grandparents when they were young.

(Reporting by Li-mei Hoang, editing by Paul Casciato)

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