HOW TODAY’S KIDS COMMUNICATE
The percentage of teens who communicate with friends every day via these methods:
Talk to friends on landline phone: 39%
Talk on cellphone: 35%
Spend time with friends in person: 31%
Instant message: 28%
Send text messages: 27%
Send messages on social-network sites: 21%
Send e-mail: 14%
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project
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About 93% of teens in the USA are now online, and they are so wired that some 64% have used the Internet to post everything from videos to essays, up from 57% at the end of 2004.
But the No. 1 method of communication for the most wired generation ever? It’s still the telephone as in landlines wired to a wall, says a new report on teens ages 12 to 17 by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which tracks the USA’s online behavior.Teens don’t drop old technologies as they add new ones, “they just communicate more,” says Pew’s Amanda Lenhart. “And more frequently.”
Teens choose the proper tool for each task, be it cellphone texting at a noisy party, Facebook for a quick hello, instant messages for multiple conversations, and seeing friends in person to, well, talk.
And some 28% of online teens mostly girls are super communicators, adept with a wide variety of tools.
Teens’ least favorite tool across the board? E-mail. Teens also use blogs, social networking profiles and their own photos and videos to reach out more broadly to people they know and, less often, to strangers. (Some 66% of teen social networkers restrict access to their profiles in some way.)
The report finds that 28% of online teens have created their own online journal or blog, up from 19% in 2004; 33% create or work on Web pages or blogs for others, about the same as in 2004; and 39% share their own artistic creations online, up from 33% in 2004.
Blogging is still dominated by girls: 35% of all online teen girls blog, compared with 20% of boys. But boys rule when it comes to posting videos: 19% of online boys have posted videos, vs. 10% of online girls.
The Internet gives teens the kind of feedback they crave, says Anastasia Goodstein, author of Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens Are Really Doing Online. “Teens have always wanted validation from their peers and even from adults. It’s part of figuring out who they are. Putting up photos or videos and getting comments is incredibly validating.”
The study was based on a telephone survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from Oct. 23 to Nov. 19, 2006. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
Copyright 2007 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.