How many hours a week are you online?

Going through my RSS feeds I came across a really interesting post made by Katie which highlighted the number of hours teenagers spend online and more importantly their reason for being online.

It turns out that a piece of research MTV and Microsoft have done discovered that teenagers in the UK spend 34 hrs online a week.  Other interesting points about the average 16-24 year old in the UK include

- They have on average 75 phone numbers in their mobile but only 14% use it to call friends, and tend to text or listen to music on their handset instead

- They have 86 buddies on their instant messenger list

However,  the most interesting part of the study was an analysis on how teenagers view this technology.  Again a stark reminder of a) the type of employees we will have joining companies in the next 5 years max b) that even though teenagers have different medium of technology they prefer to use i.e. internet based,  they still have the same reason for want to use it i.e. communicating with friends and eventually work colleagues.

"Young people don’t see tech as a separate entity – it’s an organic part of their lives. Talking to them about the role of technology in their lifestyle would be like talking to kids in the 1980’s about the role the park swing or telephone played in their social lives – it’s invisible. They are completely focused on the functionality and use of devices. They don’t enjoy texting, or emailing for its own sake – what they enjoy is communicating with their friends all the time.”

I think this fits very well with the research we did earlier this year in the flexible working preferences of employees starting to look for their first jobs out of university or school and how a large percentage of them regard flexible working more important than salary when looking for a new job.

It all goes to show that the change in communications technology over the next few years and its success will not only be down to what the vendors produce but also down to what the new generation of employees demand from their employers.

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