The Demise Of The Internet Generation?

Fascinating article in Der Spiegel on the relationship of young people to the internet, giving quite different viewpoints than you commonly come across in the media.

Here’s the opening paragraph

They may have been dubbed the “Internet generation,” but young people are more interested in their real-world friends than Facebook. New research shows that the majority of children and teenagers are not the Web-savvy digital natives of legend. In fact, many of them don’t even know how to google properly.

and here are some snippets from the full 3-part article:

“Similarly, most young people in Germany ignore social bookmarking websites like Delicious and photo-sharing portals such as Flickr and Picasa. Apparently the netizens of the future couldn’t care less about the collaborative delights of Web 2.0 — that, at least, is the finding of a major study by the Hans Bredow Institute in Germany.”

“Numerous studies have since revealed how young people actually use the Internet. The findings show that the image of the “net generation” is almost completely false — as is the belief in the all-changing power of technology.”

“Recent research into the way people conduct Internet searches confirms Scheppler’s observations. A major study conducted by the British Library came to the sobering conclusion that the “net generation” hardly knows what to look for, quickly scans over results, and has a hard time assessing relevance.”

“So instead of tech-savvy young netizens challenging the school, the school itself is painstakingly teaching them how to benefit from the online medium.”

“For a brief transition period, the Web seemed to be tremendously new and different, a kind of revolutionary power that could do and reshape everything. Young people don’t feel that way. They hardly even use the word “Internet,” talking about “Google”, “YouTube” and “Facebook” instead. And they certainly no longer understand it when older generations speak of “going online.””

Always good to challenge assumptions and question prevalent views!

Picture credit here.

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