I'm shocked! Shocked! More teens have cell phones and use the Internet

As the parent of two teenagers I am always interested in studies about their digital lifestyle. Pew Research Center has a new report that claims that "smartphone adoption among American teens has increased substantially and mobile access to the internet is pervasive". You don't say? I believe I could have told you that simply by visiting my local mall. So much for the "tell us something we don't know" moment.

Still, the research firm did its homework and published some interesting numbers. Pew studied a group of 802 teens between the ages of 12 and 17 to reach its results. For instance, 78 percent of all teens have cell phones and almost half of those, 47 percent, are smartphones. For the record, in our household it is an even 50 percent -- the 16 year old has a smartphone, the 13 year old does not yet have his first phone, though it is a subject that seems to come up daily.

The study also announces that 23 percent of teens have a tablet, 95 percent use the Internet and 93 percent have a computer at home. Again, all rather unsurprising numbers based on my own experiences, but I question the demographics that are not mentioned anywhere in the study.

"The nature of teens’ Internet use has transformed dramatically -- from stationary connections tied to shared desktops in the home to always-on connections that move with them throughout the day," says Mary Madden, Senior Researcher for the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and co-author of the report.

To sum up, as I point out, none of this qualifies as shocking and it meshes with my personal experiences, however I question how much these percentages really mean, given that they would certainly drop off dramatically with income level. In other words, I am not convinced they represent everyone across the board, but that is not mentioned here, so I am only musing and not stating.

Photo Credit: J. McPhail/Shutterstock

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