Debunking the teen social networking myth

The latest internet access data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) is out, and it sheds some interesting light on the internet habits of the 16-24 year old in the UK.

Contrary to what you might often hear about how teens are turning away from social networking, the study shows that the reverse is actually true. In fact, the age group is the greatest user of social networking – it’s what they do most of, and they do so more than any other age group (91% of those who had accessed the Internet in the last three months cited social networking as something they had done).

More interestingly, perhaps, is that the other online activities that they do more than any other age group include consulting wikis to obtain knowledge in any subject and looking for information about education, training and courses (59% and 58% respectively). And whilst they use the internet to find information about products and services slightly more than these (63%), this isn’t something they do more than other age groups (perhaps surprisingly, the people who do this most are aged 55-64).

Furthermore they are the most skilled age group too, having used the internet in more ways than any other age group – with the exception of two things: using the internet to make phone calls and modifying the security settings of their browser. The latter may well point to the fact that they are the greatest users of the internet on mobile phones, with 71% having a mobile internet connection compared to the average of 45%.

There is some excellent insight in the data tables that have been made available by the ONS, and anyone interested in the 16-24 age demographic would do well to take a look.

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