Teens have grown up this world of "instanity," where information, photos, and prices (when they're shopping) are just one click away. They are also just a security checkpoint and a passport stamp away from almost anywhere in the world, where they can witness firsthand how cultures all over the globe listen to (and create) their music and tuck their jeans into their sneakers. How are today's marketers supposed to keep up with that?
Teens will spend more time texting this summer than communicating in any other way. Research by the Nielsen company shows that teen texting is on a steep rise: the average teenager sends more than 3,000 texts per month -- that's more than six texts per daytime hour!
I don't have the answers, but I do have a singular hope. Namely, that these smartphone-wielding teens will tap the power of the mobile web in ways that are wise beyond their years, and that maybe -- just maybe -- their smartphone-free school days will teach them that they are not slaves to technology, but masters of it.
Anonymity is one of the great gifts of the Internet, because it allows people to explore new interests and express opinions without anyone knowing who they are. It's protective, it's empowering, and it's dangerous. For those who have learned the lessons of life to an extent that they can understand themselves and where they fit in the world, anonymity may not be all that bad, but for teens who are still figuring it all out, anonymity may do more bad than good.