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Survey Pegs Youth Social Media Tech Habits

June 22, 2011

Some surveys hit it right on the nose: A recent Fox Business survey found that... get ready... young people use social media such as texting and mobile video more than their elders.

Shocking, we know. Here, we’ll give you a few moments to recover.

Nielsen's recent survey, "Kids Today: How the Class of 2011 Engages With Media," looked at the social media tech habits of 12 and 17-year olds, finding that they out-text all other age groups: “Those between ages 13 and 17 send an average of 3,364 texts per month, more than double the rate of 18 to 24-year-olds.”

Certainly true based on our personal observations here at home with our own members of the demographic in question. Rarely do we see them talking on the phone, always texting.

Scott Brown, senior vice president of Global Communications, Client Insights and Strategic Relations at Nielsen, said many youths have been shy and reserved, “and not really good communicators in the traditional sense, so this opens up a new horizon for them."

In what’s probably overall a good sign, this same group watches less T.V. than the general population, an average of 23 hours and 41 minutes per week as opposed to 34 hours and 39 minutes a week for the average American.

[Are those numbers right? The average American watches thirty-freaking-four hours of TV a week? Ye heavens.]

Teens today are the heaviest mobile viewers, too, averaging seven hours, 13 minutes of mobile video a month, the survey found, “compared to four hours 20 minutes for the general population.”

Surprisingly this group talks the least on their phones, only 515 minutes per month, compared to 750 minutes among 18 to 24-year olds.


David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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