Ofcom release the results of the eleventh annual Communications Market Report and find that techie teens are shaping how we communicate
This year’s report shows that a ‘millennium generation’ of 14 and 15 year olds are the most technology-savvy in the UK.
The study, which measured confidence and knowledge of communications technology to calculate an individual's 'Digital Quotient' score, or 'DQ', shows that teens born at the turn of the millennium are unlikely to have known 'dial-up' internet and are the first generation to benefit from broadband and digital communications while growing up. The result is that this generation are the most technology-savvy people in the UK.
The study which surveyed nearly 2,000 adults and 800 children found that we hit our peak confidence and understanding of digital communications and technology when we are in our mid-teens; this then drops gradually up to our late 50s and then falls rapidly from 60 and beyond.
The results also show that six year olds claim to have the same understanding of communications technology as 45 year olds and more than 60% of people aged 55 and over have a below average 'DQ' score, the average being 100.
Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: "Our research shows that a 'millennium generation' is shaping communications habits for the future. While children and teenagers are the most digitally-savvy, all age groups are benefitting from new technology.
"We're now spending more time using media or communications than sleeping. The convenience and simplicity of smartphones and tablets are helping us cram more activities into our daily lives."
Despite young people’s confidence in using technology, they still need support and education to help them manage their complex digital lives and use the internet safely and responsibly. In our education sessions in schools, we remind parents that while they may not feel very tech-savvy, they are life-savvy when it comes to navigating relationships, peer pressure and growing up, and they play a hugely important role in supporting young people to cope with these issues in a digital age.
It is also important to remember that while young people are confident with using devices, we still need to develop their digital skills so they can access the full creative potential of digital technology. Our Have your Say survey of over 24,000 children aged 7-19 years found that 2 in 5 young people had created an app, game, website or blog, showing we still have a way to go before all young people are making the most of the opportunities offered by technology.
Not only does this give young people the chance to be more creative online it also highlights the growing need for parents to feel confident in helping their children stay safe online. Many children and young people still need support and guidance when it comes to managing their lives online and using the internet positively and safely. At Childnet we have conversation starters that can be used as an effective way to get involved with your children and their lives online. We also a number of hot topics that give information on a range of topics affecting young people including downloading, gaming and social networks.
For more information on the annual Ofcom study visit Ofcom