Crushing Teen Communication. Oh, Dear!

July 30, 2012

Mashable’s headline may be a little sensationalistic, or not, depending on whether you consider email to be social media. The site exclaims, “Without Social Media, 18% of Teens Would Stop Communicating.” (The infographic that goes with the piece is here.) The write up cites a recent survey from marketing company AWeber which asked American high school and college students about their communication habits. Writer Emily Price tells us:

“According to the survey, 90% of teens are on [Facebook], and an astounding 93% of teenagers use mobile phones – the same amount that use email. 74% of teens are YouTube users, and 47% use Skype to keep up with others.

“Facebook and Email own almost equal parts of teens’ hearts. With teenagers going for both when they wake up in the morning, while they’re in class, and even while they’re on vacation.”

The study went on to ask respondents what they would do if the unthinkable occurred: cell phones, and the technology to recreate them, have disappeared from the Earth. In that event, only six percent would consider using a landline or the postal service to keep in touch. Eighteen percent vowed the hardship would push them into a virtual oubliette, from which they would never communicate again.

Consider this, though. As my beloved publisher so delicately asks, is it a loss or is it a gain when eighteen percent of teens no longer share their thoughts with the world?

Cynthia Murrell, July 30, 2012

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