Tweens , Teens & Digital Lives
The younger generation is more tech savvy than their elders. In many ways it’s a welcome change, yet is also calling for the elders to have some digital awareness. Elders and parents can no more shy away from the digital realm. It’s high time to give up mundane excuses and prepare to become digital literates.
McAfee is the world’s largest dedicated security software company, now owned by Intel (and is called Intel security). McAfee releases country wise reports on online behavior of Teen s and Tweens (children of age group 8-12). This November 10th, it released its annual study of online behaviors of Indian Teen and Tween netizens. Published as “Tweens, Teens and Technology 2014 report”, the study is based on the data supplied from 711 male and 711 female respondents from major cities across India.
The findings of the report has nothing to make Indian parents happy about, hence deserves reporting.
The mass penetration of the smart phones has proved to be the cheapest way to hook to the internet. A decade back internet access was not everyone’s cake as it required a computer primarily. Now things have changed altogether. A small phone filling a teens pocket has the gate to the digital world within. The service providers too have come down with their packages that anyone could access the internet literally at the cost of having a tea from a road side vender.
The digital divide between the youngsters and the elder generations has widened beyond imagination, even a well educated elder in his late 30s might feel ashamed like an illiterate, when it comes to technology. The report reveals that the digital persona of our children is so different online. They have been less educated about social networking and least guided by their own parents.
Attention seeking attitude is the signature of adolescence and this plays a vital role in the way children behave online. This drives them to post their personal images which everyone can view and comment. One of the major revelation of the findings inform that one in three Indian teen is cyber bullied, which almost goes unreported even to parents.
Some of the other major findings are highlighted below.
66% youth have confessed they feel more accepted on social media than in person.
72% feel receiving likes in Facebook make them feel more important or popular. At the same time 58% have responded they feel depressed while they bag fewer likes.
More alarmingly 92% have posted or done something risky online. This includes updating the profile information with mail IDs, phone numbers, residential addresses and other such personal data. 63% keep their GPS ON while surfing other websites or using the apps and they don’t bother about it.
Almost half of the respondents, despite their technological awareness, surprisingly believe that they could ultimately delete the information, whatsoever, they have posted online.
52% have said to access web while in school, during class hours. On paper every school by law has prohibited mobile usage among pupils, but is easily overlooked.
Wake up elders. The time is now. You can’t bypass digital literacy anymore.