• Keeping Friends

Friends in the Digital Playground

Published: August 24, 2007 | Last Updated: April 2, 2016 By | Reply Continue Reading

There is a lot to learn about friendships from what has been
called the "largest-ever global survey" of how kids interact with digital
technology. MTV and Nickelodeon, in association with Microsoft Digital
Advertising Solutions, used both quantitative and qualitative methodologies to
talk to 18,000 “tech-embracing” kids (ages 8-14) and young people (14-24) in 16

The findings from the Circuits of Cool/Digital Playground study

that the average young person who is connected to technology has 94 phone numbers in his/her mobile phone, 78 people on a instant messenger buddy list, and 86 people in his/her social networking community. One conclusion: Technology has enabled young people to have
more and closer friendships thanks to constant connectivity.

The impact of technology on friendship is greatest among 14-24
year olds: Under the age of 14, kids use cell phones as “toys.”
Older kids use it as a means of self-expression and
communication. Different forms of communication enable youth to talk about
much more intimate subjects than they otherwise would. Over half said they could talk about more topics on IM than
face-to-face; 53 percent said that it enabled them to know friends better; and 4 out of 10 said that it helped them make new friends and
feel less lonely.

Another interesting finding: Friends influence each other as much as
marketers do—friendships are just as important as brands. Talk about the power
of viral marketing!

“Digital communications—from IM, SMS, social networking to
email—have all revolutionized how young people communicate with their peers,”
said Chris Dobson, a vice-president of global advertising sales at Microsoft in
a press release. Do these findings challenge more conventional face-to-face friendships?
Heck no. According to the study findings, youth use technology to enhance rather than
replace these relationships.

Source: Press Release 07/24/07 New Global Study from MTV, Nickelodeon and Microsoft Challenges Assumptions about Relationship between Kids, Youth & Digital Technology





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