"We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society." - Angela Davis

How Youth Use Technology

Youth are enthusiastic communicators, keeping in contact with a variety of important people in their lives: friends, parents, teachers, coaches, bosses, and a myriad of others. Knowing how and when youth access their devices helps PRIDE Museum impact them with innovative information and ways to manipulate gadgets, applications and images -- making technology and science learning more dynamic and interactive.

More than 80% of all households have at least one computer. The amount of time children and teens spend on the computer has tripled in the past 10 years. Teens are the heaviest internet users.

93% Teens (defined as kids age 12-17) use the Internet
29% Teens own a laptop

Tweens (defined as kids aged 8-12)
71.1% accessed the Internet in the past 30 days
83.4% did their Web surfing at home/school
29.6% bookstore/library
81.2% reported accessing the web to play online games
86.8% played a video game
29.1% played a video game on a cell phone

75% Teens (defined as kids age 12-17) have a Cell Phone
58% 12 year olds have a cell phone
73% 13 year olds have a cell phone
76% 14 year olds have a cell phone
79% 15 year olds have a cell phone
82% 16 year olds have a cell phone
83% 17 year olds have a cell phone

Other uses for their phones besides texting and talking:
83% use their phones to take pictures
60% play music on their phones
46% play games on their phones
32% exchange videos on their phones
27% go online for general purposes on their phones
23% access social networking sites on their phones

Middle school youths spend more than three hours each day outside of school in front of a TV, cell phone or computer screen rather than doing homework or other academic-related activities. Youths spend a lot of time in front of a screen doing one or more of the following activities: watching TV, playing video games, sending text messages or using the computer (for non-school related tasks).

Tweens (defined as kids aged 8-12)
35% have a cell phone
5% access the Internet over their phones each month
20% have used text messaging
21% have used ringtones or ringback tones
41% did so while commuting or traveling
56% did so at home
58% downloaded or watched TV on their phones
64% downloaded or played music on their phones

Texting is the No. 2 use of cell phones after checking the time. Text messaging has become the primary way that teens reach their friends, surpassing face-to-face contact, email, instant messaging and voice calling as the go-to daily communication tool for this age group. However, voice calling is still the preferred mode for reaching parents for most teens. Teens write a lot, but they do not think of their emails, instant and text messages as writing.

65% High school teens use cell phones in school
54% Teens text daily
- One-quarter of text messages sent by teens are sent during class
- Text messages connect kids instantly and privately
- Images and messages can be spread virally or uploaded
- Teens with phones averaged nearly 2,900 texts a month — a 566 percent increase in two years
- Older teen girls ages 14-17 lead the charge on text messaging, averaging 100 messages per day
- Youngest teen boys are the most resistant to texting, averaging 20 messages per day

86% 15-17 year old Internet users own a handheld device
69% Cell phone
66% iPod or other MP3 player
31% PSP (PlayStation Portable)
23% Smartphone
26% 15-17 year old Internet users pay for Internet access on their cell phone
24% 15-17 year old Internet users watch video on their handheld devices on a monthly basis

7.1 times a month downloading Online video clips onto a device
5.7 times a month downloading Music videos
4.2 times a month downloading Music
3.1 times a month downloading Games
2.8 times a month downloading Ring tones/ring tunes

Playing games is the most prevalent activity on the four key devices
– 84% are gaming on a computer, video game system, portable digital music player (PDMP) or cell phone
– while more than half are listening to music and one-third are communicating with images or interacting with various video formats.

80% Teens (defined as kids age 12-17) use Social Networking Sites
51% check their sites more than once a day
22% check their sites more than 10 times a day
39% posted something they later regretted
37% used the sites to make fun of other students
25% created a profile with a false identity
24% hacked into someone else's social networking account
13% posted nude or seminude pictures or videos of themselves or others online

Source: 2009-2012 Pew Research Center