I’ve been going to Google hosted events for almost 10 years, they are always informative and I’m always blown away by the insights they have with regard to how all things digital are impacting on our lives. Whether it’s the fact that people reach for their mobile phones before they even get out of bed in the morning or that millions of people look for pancake making videos on YouTube around the 28th of February, Google have great information on how we are now living digital lives.
Surfing in Bed!
One change in behaviour that I was made aware of a few years ago, while at a Google event, was that internet usage now peaks early in the morning and late at night, when we’re in bed basically. This changed from lunchtimes and early evenings, when we had spare time to sit in front of a PC. This is the impact of mobile, tablet and laptop technology. Without going into detail, what we did in bed used to be pretty obvious, sleep, read… now we are surfing!
And so I was reminded of this fact last week when I read a report from New Zealand that suggests social media is having an effect on teenage pregnancy. The report suggests there may be a link between the advent of social media as a global phenomenon and the decrease in teenage pregnancy figures. It’s not the first report of its kind, but all similar reports, from different geographic locations, suggest there is a link.
Making Better Life Choices
The report has led to two different views, with some saying this is simply down to better education in recent years and others saying that social media means young people are staying in more and not putting themselves in the same situations they may have previously. But I say, what if it’s a combination of both?
Perhaps the wealth of information that can be accessed now by teenagers online means they are making better decisions? The wealth of data out there has enabled businesses to make better decisions about all sorts of things. Is it so ridiculous to suggest that people are making better decisions in their everyday lives based on the data they have access to now?
Ooh La La!
I’m sure there will be more studies on this and other ways the digital revolution has changed the way we live our lives, but I’d like to think that for all the negative stories about how teenagers are having to cope with the internet; trolling, bullying, pornography, there are also lots of positive ways in which teenagers and young people are benefitting from using the internet. How does that Rod Stewart song go?* I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger…maybe kids today do!
*showing my age
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