Living La Vida Super Communicators

When you think teens, you automatically think they are online, right? Can you guess what percentage of teens are using the Internet? A whopping 93%, according to a recent study byThe Pew Internet & American Life Project. In fact, the Internet is said to be a part of a teen's social life where they can share creations, tell stories, and interact with others.

The study finds teens (12 - 17) to be "super communicators" who have a host of technology options for dealing with family and friends, including traditional landline phones, cell phones, texting, social network sites, instant messaging, and email.

Among the latest survey findings:

  • 39% of online teens share their own artistic creations online, such as artwork, photos, stories, or videos, up from 33% in 2004.
  • 33% create or work on Web pages or blogs for others, including those for groups they belong to, friends, or school assignments -- a stat basically unchanged from 2004 (32%).
  • 28% have created their own online journal or blog, up from 19% in 2004.
  • 27% maintain their own personal Web page, up from 22% in 2004.
  • 26% remix content they find online into their own creations, up from 19% in 2004.



In addition to those core elements of content creation,

  • 55% of online teens have created a profile on a social networking site such as Facebook or MySpace.
  • 47% of online teens have uploaded photos where others can see them, though many restrict access to the photos in some way.
  • 14% of online teens have posted videos online.


According to PEW, 64% of online teens have participated in one or more among a wide range of content-creating activities on the internet, up from 57% of online teens in a similar survey conducted three years ago.

So you think teen girls talk a lot? Well they do so in an online environment, too. They are considered to be "content creators."

Other gender-related findings include:

  • 35% of all teen girls blog, compared with 20% of online boys.
  • 54% of wired girls post photos online, compared with 40% of online boys.
  • 19% of online boys post video content online, compared to 10% of online girls who have posted a video online where others could see it.

47% of online teens have posted photos where others can see them, and 89% of those teens who post photos say that people comment on the images at least "some of the time." Many teens, however, limit access to content that they share.

Teens are savvier than most of us think -- at least about their online activities. They are aware of the dangers of sharing personal information online. Many make it available for friends only.

That being said, they tend to think about safety less when posting pictures online. 39% say they restrict access to their photos most of the time -- whereas 38% say they do "sometimes," and 21% say "never." Before you cringe as I did, they are better than adults on this one. 38% of adults say they never restrict access to the photos they post online. Eek.

I was also surprised to see that teens still use landline phones. In fact, 46% say they use their landlines. Perhaps that figure is due to parents monitoring their cell phone minutes?

The use of email is diminishing in this group. Only 14% say they email daily. We need to tweak our lens when we look at this reality. Teen are not communicating less, they are communicating differently. They ping each other on instant messenger clients and email via social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.

So when it comes to targeting this fickle bunch online, watch their behavior -- how and where they communicate. Visit social networking sites and take a look around. You may not be able to see their profiles, as access is restricted, but you'll see why 55% of teens online are on social networking sites. Oh, and be prepared to feel old or need ear plugs.

Next story loading loading..