Teenage Digital Devices

“It’s crucial to get to know them now in order to better understand who they’ll be tomorrow.” –The Teen Transition, Nielsen, 4/16/2013

I start the majority of my workshops with a youth culture quiz. I ask parents and youth workers, “Do you know today’s teenagers? Are you familiar with their culture, attitudes, habits and trends.”

But keeping up with today’s teen is no easy task, because the only constant is change… especially in the area of technology.

Take smartphone ownership, for example. From early 2011 to late 2012, smartphone penetration increased by 45% among teens, 32 percent among adults 18-24, and 22 percent among adults 25-34. Nielsen provides a nice little graphic in this most recent April report, showing device ownership among teens and young adults.

Of course, this little graphic doesn’t include Christmas 2012. Take that into consideration, and the rapid rate of annual increase, and you can probably now add almost 5% to some of those numbers above.

Teens are moving towards mobile; maybe this is why they are watching more mobile video than any other age group… that is… until they turn 18. Then they spend more time watching video on the internet. But don’t misunderstand the numbers. Both of these platforms are trumped by how much time they spend watching content on the traditional television… they still opt to spend most their time in front of that screen.

More about this in this recent Nielsen report.

Do you know what your teenagers are watching?

Are you having conversations with them about what they see?

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices, If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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