Social Media & Young Adults: Challenges & Opportunities for STD Prevention


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In this talk, delivered to CDC's 2010 STD Prevention conference in Atlanta, Amanda discusses how teens and young adults use tools for electronic and digital communication and what public health workers need to know as they tailor campaigns to a target audience.

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  • 76% of families with 12-17 yos have bbd, up from 71% in Feb 2008. Low income/ low parent education less likely to have bbd Black families less likely to have bbd than white families.
  • Why is it important to know whether people have broadband, or use cell phones? Because it affects their access to people and information and it impacts how information can be delivered or accessed by that person. On dial up? Video isn’t the best. Accessing via cell phone – need a minimalist website for mobile browsing. Different expectations for push vs pull information on email than cell phone. Also issues of literacies of all kinds – media – do people know how to assess the value and veracity of (online) information? And textual – do users know how to read and comprehend text?
  • No other demographic difference in cell phone ownership
  • Also text more frequently – 80% of 18-29 who text texted in the last 24hrs. Compared to 48% of all adult texters. Data from PRC Millennials Report and Teens and Distracted Driving report. Sept 2009 and Jan 2010 data
  • More in the know your audience vein… Male, high ed, higher income
  • Social Media & Young Adults: Challenges & Opportunities for STD Prevention

    1. 1. Social Media & Young Adults: Challenges and Opportunities for STD Prevention Amanda Lenhart Pew Internet Project National STD Prevention Conference CDC March 9, 2010
    2. 2. Methodology <ul><li>Two telephone surveys both completed in September 2009: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>800 Teens 12-17 and a parent or guardian – RDD w/ cell phone sample </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2253 American adults 18 and older – RDD with cell phone sample & Spanish language interviewing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Adult data from December 2009 survey of 18+, also w/ cellphone and Spanish interviews and January 2010 adult survey w/ oversample of 18-29, cellphones </li></ul><ul><li>9 focus groups with teens 12-18 in 4 cities in June & October 2009 </li></ul>Feb 2010
    3. 10. More Millennials are cell-only
    4. 11. Texting <ul><li>66% of all teens use text messaging </li></ul><ul><li>59 % of all adults text </li></ul><ul><li>88% of 18-29 text </li></ul><ul><li>10 = median number of texts sent by adults in past 24 hrs. </li></ul><ul><li>20 = median number of texts sent in past 24 hrs by 18-29 year olds. Teens much higher. </li></ul>
    5. 13. Gaming <ul><li>97% of all teens play video games of some kind </li></ul><ul><li>53% of all adults 18 and older play video games </li></ul><ul><li>8% of teens use virtual worlds </li></ul><ul><li>4% of adults use virtual worlds </li></ul>
    6. 15. More Millennials connected On the Go
    7. 16. Adults & Wireless Internet <ul><li>55% of 18-29s go online on a cell phone | 30% of adults 30+ do </li></ul><ul><li>28% of 18-29s go online from a device other than cell phone or laptop | 10% of adults 30+ do, too. </li></ul><ul><li>African-American adults more likely to go online via a cell phone than English-speaking Hispanic or whites. </li></ul>
    8. 17. Online social network sites
    9. 23. What is Twitter?
    10. 25. Twitter
    11. 27. Video : Viewing and Sharing <ul><li>52% of online adults watch videos online </li></ul><ul><li>72% of 18-29s watch videos online </li></ul><ul><li>20% of 18-29 have posted a video of themselves online </li></ul><ul><li>7% of all adults 18 and older have posted a video of themselves </li></ul>
    12. 30. Sending Sexts <ul><li>No difference by gender </li></ul><ul><li>Oldest teens most likely to have sent </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8% of 17 year olds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4% of 12 year olds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>17% who pay for all the costs of the phone send sexts vs. 3% of others </li></ul>
    13. 31. Receiving Sexts <ul><li>Again, no gender differences and increases by age </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4% of 12 year olds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20% of 16 year olds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>30% of 17 year olds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sending texts, having unlimited texting plan increases receipt </li></ul>
    14. 32. Sexting Scenarios <ul><li>Between two romantic partners, as a part of, instead of, or as a prelude to sex – never leaves couple </li></ul><ul><li>Between two romantic partners – but shared with others </li></ul><ul><li>Between two people where at least one would like to be in a relationship – shows interest </li></ul>
    15. 33. What you need to know <ul><li>Need to know who uses a technology & how they use it before you can figure out how to use to reach folks w/ your message </li></ul><ul><li>Technology is constantly changing, as is access to it </li></ul><ul><li>Not all technology is a “push” technology. Opt-in is your friend </li></ul>
    16. 34. Thanks! Amanda Lenhart Pew Internet & American Life Project [email_address] @amanda_lenhart (Twitter)
    17. 35. Resources <ul><li>Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media and Young Adults </li></ul><ul><li>Teens & Sexting </li></ul><ul><li>Teens and Mobile Phones 2004-2009 </li></ul><ul><li>Wireless Internet Use </li></ul>