Digital Divides and Bridges: Technology Use Among Youth

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Amanda Lenhart spoke to the “Media and the Well-Being of Children and Adolescents” conference at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. The conference brought together academics, researchers, non-profits and industry to discuss the effects of media on child mental and physical health and well-being. In her talk, Amanda focused on bringing together data that highlights the demographic differences among groups of youth in their adoption, use and experiences with technology and social media. While such data may have illustrated what was called a “digital divide” in the past, it now highlights a variety of digital differences among groups of youth. This talk brings together data previously shared in a variety of reports on youth as well as some new analysis.

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Digital Divides and Bridges: Technology Use Among Youth

  1. Digital Divides and Bridges: Technology Use Among YouthAmanda Lenhart | Pew Research Center Annenberg April 13, 2012
  2. Internet adoption over time by teens & adults% within each age group who go online 100% 95% 94% 90% 87% 80% • 74% 70% 60% 12-17 18-29 50% 30-49 40% 41% 50-64 65+ 30% 20% 10% 0% Nov 04 Nov 06 Nov 07 Feb 08 Sept 09 July 11 4/18/2012 2
  3. Digging down to differencesInternet use• Latino youth slightly less likely than whites to use the internet (88% vs. 97%)• Youth from low income/low SES environments slightly more likely to go online less frequently – more likely to say that they use the internet 1-2 days a week or less often.Computer ownership• No racial or ethnic differences• Low education households – where parents have a HS diploma or less, are substantially less likely to have youth who say they “own” a computer. (65% vs. 80%) 4/18/2012 3
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  5. Smartphone ownership• 23% of all teens have a smartphone; as do one third of mobile phone owners• Age is most important in determining cell or smartphone ownership• Once cell ownership hurdle is crossed, no differences in smartphone ownership by race, income.• Is it a smartphone? Latino youth less certain that their phone is a smartphone (24% not sure, vs. 10% of whites). 4/18/2012 5
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  7. Teen social network & Twitter useBased on teen internet users 100% 80% 80% 73% 65% 60% 60% 55% 40% 16% 20% 8% 0% Nov 2006 Nov 2007 Feb 2008 Sept 2009 July 2011 Use online social networking sites Use Twitter 4/18/2012 7
  8. Differences in Social Media UseTwitter shows big differences – 34% of online African-American teens use Twitter – 11% of online white teens use Twitter – 13% of online Latino teens use Twitter – Lower income teens (under 30K hhd inc) more likely to use than higher income teens. – Girls more than boys – youngest boys 12-13 are laggardsSocial network site use more broadly adopted – Lowest income teens use SNS more than highest income teens – Girls more than boys – Older teens more than younger teens 4/18/2012 8
  9. Teens’ privacy settings on social media sitesBased on teen SNS or Twitter users (n=623) 2% 17% Public Partially Private 19% Private (friends only) 62% Dont know / Refused 4/18/2012 9
  10. Are people your age mostly kind or mostly unkind toone another on social network sites?% of teens and adults who use social media teens 12-17 (n=623) adults 18+ (n=1047) 69% People are mostly kind 85%* 20%* People are mostly unkind 5% 11%* Depends 5% 1% Dont know 4% 0% Refused 1% 4/18/2012 10
  11. How often do you witness online cruelty &meanness?% of teens and adults who use social media teens 12-17 (n=623) adults 18+ (n=1047) Frequently 12%* 7% Sometimes 29%* 18% Only once in a while 47% 44% Never 11% 29%* Dont know 1% 2%. 4/18/2012 11
  12. In the past 12 months when you havebeen on a social network site, hasanyone been mean or cruel to you?% of teens and adults who use social media teens 12-17 (n=623) adults 18+ (n=1047) Yes 15% 13% No 85% 86% Dont know 0% 1% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 4/18/2012 12
  13. Have you ever received advice about how to use the internet and cell phones responsibly and safely from any of these people or places? Parents 86% Teacher or another adult at school 70% Television, radio, newspapers or magazines 54% Sister, brother or cousin 46%Older relative like an aunt, uncle or grandparent 45% Friend or schoolmate 45% Youth or church group leader, or coach 40% Websites 34% Internet or cell phone service provider 21% Librarian 18% Someone or somewhere else 10% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% % of teen internet or cell phone users (n=778) 4/18/2012 13
  14. Final thoughts• Digital differences have moved beyond classic access issues of the last decade• Mobile is a more universal access point• But may be exposing some of our children to meanness and cruelty• Newer differences should not be immediately pathologized 4/18/2012 14
  15. New Pew Report: Digital Differences http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Digital- differences.aspxAmanda LenhartPew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Projecthttp://www.pewinternet.org@amanda_lenhart photo by arcticpenguin Title of presentation 4/18/2012 15

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