Teens Still Prefer IRL to TXT

Posted: January 30, 2012 in Youth Culture & Trends
Tags: , , , , ,

We live in a digitally interactive world…and then someone says…”ah…duuuhhh!”

It’s tough trying to keep up with all the technological advances in communication in our world, as once a new model is unveiled, it’s quickly yesterdays news in about 6 months…or less!  Times have changed re: how we communicate, but apparently our preferences for how we communicate hasn’t really changed…at least for teenagers.  A new study from Ericsson surveyed 2000 U.S. teenagers ages 13-17 to better understand their tech socializing habits. Despite all of the tech gimmicks available to teens today, they still prefer meeting IRL (in real life) to texting (txt) and “liking” each others’ Facebook statuses.  As I’ve previously stated in prior blog posts, though I prefer to cite Canadian stats as much as I can, US stats are generally within 10% (give or take) of what is going on right here in Oh Canada!

I’m not sure these results should come as any real big shocker.  I mean does anyone really believe that anything (texting, Skype, Facebook, IM, etc…) can take the place of actual face-time?  Social media and technology has certainly enhanced avenues we can keep in touch, but nothing ever quite compares to ‘presence’…the gift and benefit of actually having someone 100% present sans video screen.  Anyone who dismisses the power of presence hasn’t read and thought through the Genesis account …God created the human race to be in relationship with Him, and with each other.  No other form of communication can compete with the real deal of face-to-face human interaction.  So if God the Father and creator of the universe recognized the craving mankind has for interpersonal connection, should we be surprised that roughly 6000 years later it’s still the preferred method of interaction?

You can read the insightful source article here…it even has colorful infographs for those artistic wanderers that need visual imagery and stimulation 🙂  One part of the article I do disagree with though is; (emphasis mine)

Unlike adults, teenagers use Facebook as another means for expressing their emotions by posting song lyrics and movie quotes. There is no reason for this type of information to be public. For teens, Facebook is an extension of their real-life relationships. Adults use Facebook to take the place of forms of communication, using it more for exchanging information and less for friendships they have in real life.

“There is no reason for this type of information to be public”…really??  I know there is lots of status and updates on FB and Twitter, that to me, seems pretty trivial and useless.  But it is a form of expressive communication…getting ‘the word’ out to their social sphere of influence.  I agree there is certain information that doesn’t need to be made public, but I disagree with labeling ALL updates that contain song lyrics and movie quotes as irrelevant and without reason and merit.  It’s all about connections…and when you’ve heard/seen something that connects and resonates with you in some personal and specific area, you’re likely to share that discovery.  And guess what…it’s bound to be a connection point that someone else values and relates to personally as well.  It’s one of the many ways we communicate and reveal who we are!

I do agree though that teens use social media much more as a conduit of expression, whereas adults use it more for specific communication and information.  I wonder why that is…?  Got any thoughts on this, or re: anything within the post/article?  I’d love to hear from ya!

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