The kids are back at school and the laptops, cellphones, iPods, MSN, text messaging and every other form of technology are all getting a real workout from the younger generation.
A feeling for just how important technology is to young people comes via a survey done by a group of high school students in Ottawa. Under the guidance of teacher Robin McAteer at Sir Robert Borden High School, students devised, executed and tallied a survey of their peers.
Here are some survey highlights:
â€¢ Seventy-three per cent of teens own their own computer; 63 per cent own a cellphone; 41 per cent a web cam; 86 per cent an MP3 player.
â€¢ On the Internet, the top five daily activities â€” and they are done in almost equal amounts â€” are: e-mail, instant messaging, music, social networking sites and work.
â€¢ On average, kids spend close to three hours a day on the Internet.
â€¢ Eighty per cent of them use social networking sites and share a lot of personal information but they still feel safe; 37 per cent of them have 200 or more friends on their social networking site.
â€¢ Most teens feel “pretty safe” on the Internet and see it as a social, friendly, entertaining place to go.
You can check out the full report at cyberbully.pbwiki.com.
McAteer says young people live their lives on the Internet and their parents, for the most part, work on the Internet. Yet there is no doubt, she adds, that there is a digital gap between generations: 68 per cent of surveyed teens said they never or seldom talk to parents about the Internet.
Her advice is to get involved and the best way to do that is to admit to your kids that you are not the savviest person online, and that they teach you about what they do.
You might be amazed at how much your kids want to be your guide to the Internet. It may be a time when technology opens up a whole new real-life conversation between you and your children.
Paul’s website of the week:
www.Archive.org is a site that attempts to collect and archive our digital world, from websites to podcasts and live concerts. And all for free.
This Sunday, one of the stories on TECH NOW will be a look at plans to post one of history’s most important set of papers on the Internet.
â€“ Be sure to watch Tech Now this Sunday as part of the CTV NEWS at 6 p.m.