If you’ve ever had dinner with a teenager, you know how hard it is to get them to disconnect. Sure, they’re sitting right across from you, but they’re texting under the table and if the right message comes in, they’re gone in a flash.
With mobile phones, internet connected video games, tablets and computers, staying connected is easy for Generation Z. And though these 13-18 year-olds represent only 8.3% of the US population (as of the 2010 Census) they represent a much bigger presence on the internet.
Wikia just released the results of a new study they conducted with Ipsos MediaCT called “GenZ: The Limitless Generation.” It examines the relationship between teens and technology and at the risk of sounding like a boring parent, the results are disturbing.
How about this:
All (100%) are connected for 1+ hours per day, but about half (46%) are connected 10+ hours per day.
You’ll be happy to learn that 63% will step away from the internet while at work or school, but you gotta figure that’s because they have no choice. Same goes for the 45% who single-task while playing sports or exercising. 44% are gracious enough to “unplug” while at church and incredibly, almost half said they get offline while doing homework.
It’s not just the amount of time they spend on line that’s incredible, it’s the fact that they’re spending more time than ever before. Almost half of the teens surveyed said they were online more than they were three months ago. That number goes up to 63% once they get a tablet in their hands.
What are they doing online for 10 hours a day?
Once a week: 93% / Multiple times a day: 54% (wow)
Once a week: 65% / Multiple times a day: 38%
And YouTube wins that round.
About a quarter of the teens said they visit Twitter and Google+ on a regular basis. Instagram a little less frequently.
When it comes to contributing, 70% do it simply because it’s entertaining and fun. 64% said they join in in order to learn new things. Only 14% (truly honest teens) said they contribute online in order to show how smart they are.
When it comes to influence, they don’t have much pull over what their parents see at the movies (16%), but 47% convinced someone (probably a parent) to buy an iPad and 40% helped sell Oreos and Subway sandwiches. Who knew?
Teens value technology. They say their experience will help them reach their goals and that it makes them feel like anything is possible. How do they feel about unplugged time? Less than half thought downtime added value to their life.
Forget Google Goggles, these kids are going straight for the brain implant. I’m thinking about posting on Facebook. . . .
What are your thoughts? Are teens spending too much time online or do you believe in “online or fall behind” ?