Looking Backward to See Forward – Child Online Safety in the New Year
When it comes to technology and social media, many parents feel like they are constantly playing catch up in an attempt to stay on top of what their kids are up to online. So in an effort to keep up as we enter 2012, we wanted to share some interesting information from a recent blog posting from Mr. Youth (http://www.mryouth.com/), an advertising agency that specializes in the newest generation of consumers. Here are some of their top teen insights and trends that shaped 2011. We think it provides an interesting look into how youth will likely continue to be influenced and interact online in the New Year and beyond.
Move Over Facebook
There’s no doubt Facebook dominates the social media scene but Google+ is gaining traction with teens. Google+ allows its users to create subsets/circles of friends. Teens can also use it on an academic level by forming circles for their classes to facilitate study sessions, after-school clubs and hobbies/interests.
Teenage Smartphone Users = Savvy Consumers
It’s estimated that roughly 30% of teens owned smartphones this past year. Ownership is predicted to rise to 50% in 2012. With the use of apps on these phones, more teens than ever are becoming savvy to tapping into local deals from discount sites such as Groupon and Living Social. Bar code apps are also popular to be able to scan for in-store details and price comparisons.
Aside from keeping track of deals, teens are also looking to apps on their smartphones to help them keep track of their homework assignments, grades, high school sporting events and to-do lists.
Twitter, The News Source
While Facebook and other similar social media platforms are teens’ source to chat with their peers, teens are using Twitter as their source for news. From keeping up to date on what their favorite celebrities have to say on a minute by minute basis, teens have also tapped into Twitter accounts from news organizations including local news outlets, The Onion, TMZ, among others.
Why Watch TV Alone?
Most parents can tell you first hand their teen is online more than they are not these days, but here is more evidence to prove it: Teens have turned watching television into a social media experience. According to Mr. Youth’s 2011 Nationwide Poll, 53% of teens are posting comments about the show to their Facebook pages, 45% are texting their friends show-related updates, 39% will visit the show’s Facebook page, and 18% will Tweet directly at the show. Even those who choose to simply watch the show without talking about it through social media are still likely to text their friends about it during commercial breaks.
As social media continues to evolve, teens will continue to be on the forefront of how it will be used. Not only will they play a major role in how friends and family communicate with each other, but also how the media and business world will communicate with us. There’s no doubt 2012 will bring more change on this front.
More information about Mr. Youth’s findings can be found at http://www.grownupthinking.com/index.php/2011/12/09/top-teen-insights-trends-for-2011/.
We at SafetyWeb wish you a very happy and safe New Year!