The Net as Communications vs. Information

From a new Guardian study on young people’s use of the Internet:

On average, people between 14 and 21 spend almost eight hours a week online, but it is far from a solitary activity. There are signs of a significant generation gap, and rather than using the internet as their parents do – as an information source, to shop or to read newspapers online – most young people are using it to communicate with one another.

About half of that time is spent chatting to friends in online communities or using messaging services, while another hour is spent emailing. The internet may be a window into their personal realm, but it is not a window on the world for young people: only one in 10 say they use it to keep up with news and current affairs. [Emphasis mine]

Now, while I think this is interesting, it shouldn’t be too surprising. You might have said the same thing about telephones, for example, decades ago. You know, “There are signs of a significant generation gap, and rather than using the telephone as their parents do – as an information source, to shop or to check on sports scores - most young people are using it to communicate with one another.” Of course, that parallel doesn’t make it less interesting, it just reinforces the inevitability of the generational difference.

Related posts:

  1. Desktop Access as the Ultimate Communications Intimacy
  2. The Internet’s Tenth Birthday (Sort of)
  3. “Dark Hero of the Information Age”
  4. Dark Matter in the Information Universe
  5. A Night in Life of an Internet Cafe

Comments

  1. Gabe says:

    Well said. My thoughts too.
    Though I wouldn’t say “reinforces the inevitability of the GENERATIONAL difference”. A girls’s generational designation will follow her through life. But her idle chattiness will not…