Teens stay online more than they did just 3 months ago; tablets a big reason why

March 19, 2013
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The report by Wikia, the entertainment and gaming network of websites, surveyed over 1,200 users aged 13-18, sometimes referred to in marketing circles as Generation Z.

Tablets were cited as a key factor in Gen Z’s growing connectedness to the Web and online services.

Almost half (47%) said they are more actively connected now than they were just three months ago. And among those who say their tablet is the most useful device they own, 63% say they are more actively connected now than three months ago.

Only 12% said they are less actively connected and about two-in-five (41%) say their connectivity is about the same.

These teens also claim to hold a fair bit of influence when it comes to family purchases. For example, 47% said their advice had “a lot” or at least “a little” influence on purchase of an iPad. Snacks and other foods rated highly as an area of influence; for example, 40% said they influenced the purchase of Oreos and Subway meals, while Doritos and Mountain Dew came in at 36% and 35% respectively.

Living up to the sitcom teenager stereotype,  Wikia said eco-friendly products and wholesome foods and drinks ranked low on the teen’s list.

"As the father of an upcoming GenZer, and through my experience creating and developing collaborative publishing platforms, it is clear that this generation is using technology in a way that is smarter, more involved and beneficial to their future," said Jimmy Wales , Co-Founder of Wikia. Wales is also Co-Founder of Wikipedia.

Other notable bullet points in the report:

  • Three-quarters (76%) agree that their experience with technology will help them reach their goals.  Two-thirds (66%) agree that technology makes them feel like anything is possible.  Less than half (43%) agree that they value the time when they're unplugged. 
  • All (100%) are connected for 1+ hours per day, but about half (46%) are connected 10+ hours per day.
  • One-in-four (25%) are actively connected (checking email, messages, etc.) within five minutes of waking up, while nearly three-in-four (73%) are connected in an hour or less. 
  • Three-in-five (63%  are "unplugged" during work/school.  However, only 44% say they are "unplugged" while at religious services, 44% say they are "unplugged" while doing homework/studying and 45% say they are "unplugged" while playing sports/exercising. 

A study released earlier this month by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 37% of all U.S. teens ages 12-17 have smartphones, up from 23% in 2011, while 23%  have a tablet, a level comparable to the general adult population.


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