A recent report from Common Sense Media’s Program for the Study of Children and Media provides us with an interesting look at how teen’s use of social media impacts their lives. Common Sense surveyed 1,030 teens ages 13 to 17 in late February and early March 2012.
Here is one of the report’s highlights:
How do teens prefer to communicate?
In person 49%
Through texting 33%
Through a social networking site 7%
On the phone 4%
In an online game 3%
Through video chat 2%
I’m sure all of us who are older than teens are happy to see that in person is still the favorite means of communication. But we (those of us over 21 and particularly those of us over 30) need to recognize that teens’ next favorite type of communication is texting. Not the phone, not video chatting, not emailing – it’s overwhelmingly texting.
Why is this important for us to recognize? If we work with teens and young adults, we have a responsibility to communicate with them in the ways THEY understand and respect. Just because we don’t think texting is wonderful doesn’t mean it isn’t – we grew up in another time. With the rapid advancement of technology, each generation becomes even more different than the last.
So be happy teens still like to talk to each other in person. AND support their right to choose texting over phone calls and video chatting and yes even Facebook (which most of us Old Folks are pretty comfortable with these days
Here is a link to the whole report
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