Tuesday, October 13, 2009

75 percent of teens are internet junkies

This just in from the BBC:

A survey of 16 to 24 year olds has found that 75% of them feel they "couldn't live" without the internet.

These digital natives use the internet for everything from asking for advice to seeking refuge from the real world in warm, fuzzy places known as websites. Read the whole story here.

Reaction one:

Can't live? Define live. Good job, BBC, for putting that phrase in quotation marks. Bloody boohoo.

Reaction two:

Well. Considering I found the story on Twitter, and I freaked out at the idea that Sweden went offline for 58 minutes last night, I'm certainly not one to talk.

While I'm not a digital native -- I did learn to read before I learned to click, and my earliest memories on earth predate the existence of my family's Packard Bell 286 -- I'm pretty damn close. But not quite there.

I wonder if this fact alone makes me more likely, and more able, to quit the internet than someone born, say, the year Google was founded (hint: 1998). I can remember a time when people used phone books. I had a pen pal. I read movie reviews in the paper. It's all fuzzy, by now, but not mythological. What I can't decide is if those memories make an offline existence in any way alluring, because I know it's possible to have a meaningful life without the internet, or rather if they make it seem preposterous, since I know what I'm leaving behind and where I'm headed.

A final thought: Perhaps I am totally off base with this line of thinking (correlating internet quittability with history of exposure). Perhaps a junkie is a junkie is a junkie. Doesn't matter when you started -- only how deep your cravings are.

And if that's true, then I am effed.

No comments:

Post a Comment