Ipsos released some research on Tuesday about teens and what they do online. It makes me feel better about being in my 40th year ….
Contrary to popular belief, teens are not online as much as they are stereotyped to be, the time they do spend on the Internet is focused rather narrowly on particular types of websites and activities, and their comfort level with technology is actually much lower than adults.
According to Steve Mossop, president of Market Research for Ipsos Reid in Western Canada, “What is surprising about our research is the extent to which it challenges conventional assumptions adults make about the technological sophistication of teenagers. The reality is they spend far less time online than adults with a very limited number of activities like socializing, gaming and music, and their attitudes are surprisingly unsophisticated in terms of their lack of comfort with the technology, concerns about security and privacy, and importance of the internet in their daily lives.”
Why does this make me feel better? Here’s how I spend a lot of my time online: socializing, gaming and music. I’m young at heart!
Seriously though… this study reconfirms the importance of online social networking.
Online socializing is by far, the overwhelming reason why teens surf the net. The majority of teens surveyed (88%) have participated in an online social activity (compared to 70% of adults) and more than half (59%) visit online social networks or communities a few times a week to daily. Many teens report that the Internet is important to their social life (61%) and, among those who visit online social networks or communities, half (52%) say it is important to their day-to-day life.
Participation rates are extremely high (88% for teens, 70% for adults). And the level of investment that teens put into social networking is pretty stunning – well over half of teens say that the Internet is an important part of their social life. Given that adults spend more time online than teens, I would imagine a similar number for that demographic as well.
So I’d say it’s high time for us government communicators to be moving into this space. It’s where our audiences are.