Teens Online Buy Stuff, Prefer Reality Over Virtual Sometimes, And Have Concerns

Teens Online Buy Stuff, Prefer Reality Over Virtual Sometimes, And Have Concerns

New research from OTX and The Intelligence Group studies teens' online behavior, finding that teens are spending an average of 11.5 hours per week online, doing everything from instant messaging and visiting social networking sites to shopping and listening to music, but dispels myths that this group wants to do everything online. The study did find that 24% of teens are spending more than 15 hours a week online.

The study determined that teens chose reality over virtual reality in many aspects of their lives. Given the choice, teens prefer:

  • Real friends (91%) to online friends (9%)
  • To date someone from school (87%) over someone from the Internet (13%)
  • To shop in a store (82%) rather than shop online (18%)
  • To get their locker vandalized (63%) versus their homepage (37%)
  • To IM a friend (54%) instead of calling (46%)

Jane Buckingham, President, The Intelligence Group "... (the) report shows this group to be complex, sophisticated consumers and media users, just as we all are."

The study also found that:

  • 58% of teens have made a purchase online
  • Teens who make purchases online are spending an average of $46 per month
  • 26% of teens are spending $50 or more
  • Clothes and music are the two most popular online purchases, followed by books, electronics and DVDs
  • The bedroom (36%) and living room (24%) are the places teens are most likely to have their primary computer
  • Teens with their primary computer in their bedrooms are more likely to be heavy internet users (15+ hours per week) and spend money online

Bruce Friend, President Media and Entertainment Insights for OTX, said "...teenagers are often heavy simultaneous media users... IMing and searching the web at the same time."

78% of teens are concerned about computer viruses while online, followed by identity theft (67%), unauthorized access to personal information (65%), Scams (60%), and Spam (60%).

The average teen has signed up for over four social networking sites and currently belongs to two. Teens report learning about music, other websites, movies, TV shows, and new trends from social networking sites.

Teens are receptive to advertising on these sites, where the majority of teens learn about:

  • Financial services (63%)
  • Movies in theaters (59%)
  • Mobile services and accessories (58%)
  • Travel (57%)
  • Other websites (53%)

Get more on this study from ypulse here.


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