Mobile was the final front in the access revolution. It has erased the digital divide. A mobile device is the internet for many people. Access isn’t the point anymore. It’s what people are doing with the access that matters.
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Mobile devices are changing us, once again, as internet users, making us more likely to share, more likely to access information on the go, and, as I mentioned, erasing the digital divide. Once information is untethered, the oceans part and the landscape changes. We are now on the other side of a massive shift in communications.
In 10 years we have seen the internet go from a slow, stationary, information vending machine to a fast, mobile, communications appliance that fits in your pocket. Information has become portable, personalized, and participatory.
In fact, as we have watched the rise of wireless access, we’ve identified an effect that we’re calling “the mobile difference.”
You could write a whole Ph.D. thesis on this sentence alone, “Once information is untethered, the oceans part and the landscape changes.”
Pew Research took a look at teens and young adults and the trends in social media and mobile use among the youthful crowd. The catch word to identify this generation is “millennials,” or the first generation to come of age in the new millennium.
Pew first announced their findings on Twitter at @pewresearch earlier this month. Tweeting your research results is a trend in itself, but according to the Feb. 2010 report from Pew, it probably isn’t something a young adult would do.
A summary of the findings, with a link to the full report, is available on the Pew Research Center site.
Mobile is big. The most interesting findings:
Blogging and blog commenting has declined among teens by about 10% since the last study in 2007.
Almost 75% of teens and young adults use social networking sites. That’s compared with a mere 40% of adults over 30.
Facebook and MySpace run almost neck and neck for popularity among teens and young adults. LinkedIn is a minor blip in this age group.
Twitter use is low. The most likely to use Twitter are high school girls, but the numbers there only come to about 13%.
Mobile wireless is hot, with about 80% of the adults under 30 being wired into wireless. About 75% of teens and over 90% of young adults have a mobile phone and are using it to conduct an array of online activities.
Pew researcher Amanda Lenhart posted a series of charts showing the trends discovered in this study on Slideshare.