The most recent information for Teens and Technology from the Pew Research Center was released today. ' (Yes you heard me, today!) ' Between July 26th and September 30th of 2012 phone surveys were conducted with 802 parents and their 802 teens between the ages of 12-17. Interviews were taken in English and Spanish on' land line' and cell phones.

When it comes to our libraries and the teen patrons with whom we are working with there are many things we need to keep in mind. These young people are into their technology. The Pew Report shows that one in four teens are using their cell phones to access the internet. They go online using their phones, not their laptops, desktops, or tablets. See other interesting findings from the Pew Report below.

  • 78% of teens have cell phones with 47% of those having smart phones. Which means 37% of American teens have smart phones, this is up 23% since 2011.
  • Older girls are accessing the internet using their phones more than the boys; 34% of teen girls ages 14‐17 say they mostly go online using their cell phone, compared with 24% of teen boys ages 14‐17. This is notable since boys and girls are equally likely to be smart phone owners.
  • Teens in lower income situations are less likely to have internet access in their homes but are just as likely and sometimes more likely to have a smart phone and use it as an online access point.
  • One in four teens has a tablet computer. This is on average with American adults. Close to one third of teens whose parents have at least some college education or have household incomes over $75,000 a year own tablets.
  • Nine in ten teens have a computer in the home. Seven in ten have to share that computer with other family members.
  • It is more common for white teen to have a desktop or laptop computer than black teens. Some 81% of white teens, compared with 64% of black teens, own a computer. Older teens ages 14‐17 are more likely to have a computer than younger teens ages 12‐13 (83% vs. 72%). Teens living in suburban areas are more likely to have a computer when compared with urban teens (84% vs. 75%).

95% of teens are online. It is how they are online that has changed. They are no longer attached to desktops and laptops, they are mobile. Have phones, will travel. As librarians and those who serve teen patrons this is important. How do we release information to teens? How do we let them know about library events? Do we Tweet? Facebook? Instagram? Vine? FourSquare? How are we reaching out and letting young people know? How are we communicating? And how are they communicating in return?

These are all important questions as we look at new findings with the Pew Report. If you wish to read the full report which includes asked survey questions and data gathering techniques please go to this link: http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2013/PIP_TeensandTechnology2013.pdf

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