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BizReport : Research : June 18, 2008

Teens prefer real life to cyber

Teenagers aren’t as immersed in their online lives and activities as has previously been suggested, and instead prefer to operate in the real world.

by Helen Leggatt

otx%20logo.jpgIf you thought that teenagers today would rather sit in their bedrooms and watch a movie online or find friends via the Internet then think again. A recent survey by OTX found that, while teenagers spend around 11.5 hours a week using the Internet, they aren’t letting it rule their lives.

When they are connected, teens are likely to use several different media simultaneously, for instance listening to music, instant messaging with friends and interacting with their social networks. They appear to logon with a purpose and much of their online activity is social. In fact, instant messaging ranked as the most frequent online activity for teens, followed by visiting social networking sites, email and search.

However, when asked to compare certain real life activities with virtual equivalents, significant numbers of teens preferred real-life to cyberspace. For instance, OTX’s survey found that:

- When asked if they would prefer to date someone from school or someone they met online, 87% said ‘at school’.

- Only 9% prefer to make friends online.

- 82% prefer to shop at bricks-and-mortar stores.

- TV still rules when it comes to watching a full-length movie with only 19% preferring to watch online.

Tags: instant messaging, online usage, teenagers

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