Teenagers still prefer face-to-face

In an age of highly connected teenagers you’d think, according to the popular stereotype, that young people were living their lives as bedroom recluses unable to be parted from Facebook.

GraffitiA recent study by Ericsson ConsumerLab of US teenagers paints a different story:

In an era of online social networking, it may come as a surprise that teenagers’ preferred form of communication doesn’t rely on technology. Asked what form of communication they would miss most if it were taken away, the vast majority of respondents replied “face-to-face.” Less than half as many said they would miss texting the most, putting it in second place. Meanwhile, Facebook use came in as only the fourth most popular, after talking on the mobile phone.

Graphically it’s quite stark:

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The report goes on to say that although teenagers have a huge array of communications available to them they see them as tools to create real-life interactions. I quite liked the diagram of how Ericcson envisaged how these tools fit into the Teenage Dating Timeline:

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Speaking as a father of a couple of UK teenagers it correlates quite closely with the way that I see interactions happening around here.

A fuller summary of the report is here.

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