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Technology & Innovation

The Millennial Teenager: A Generation of Digital Natives

Young people today are more connected and wired than any generation before them. But is this good or bad?

What is the Big Idea?

Young people today are more connected and wired than any generation before them. But is this good or bad?

People aged 18-34 have an average of 319 online connections, according to a recent Pew Research Center study. That’s compared to an average of 198 connections for the 35-46 group. The infographic below shows how the numbers continue to decrease from that age group. 

Pew also recently reported that 63 percent of teenagers text message with friends on a daily basis. Thirty nine percent speak on the phone daily and just 35 percent interact face-to-face outside of school. Other research has found that text-happy teens send more than 100 messages per day.

What is the Significance?

The digital revolution comes with drawbacks.  at cites a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study and found a correlation between media consumption and poor academic performance.

Twenty one percent of young people between the ages of eight and 18 consume at least 16 hours of media per day. Seventeen consume less than three hours per day. Forty seven percent of the heavy users reported typically earning grades of C or below in school, compared to just 23 percent of the light users. Twice as many heavy users as light users reported getting in trouble frequently. put together the data from Pew and Kaiser and created the infographic below to show how technology is affecting young people. 

Tell us what you think. Are young people today too connected? 

Courtesy of: Online Schools

How can technology enhance, rather than take away from our humanity? Big Think has posed this question in an online Expo called Humanizing Technology, which seeks to identify the technologies that do the best job of fulfilling our core human needs. You can view the series here


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