youth is [not] wasted on the young

rather than using the internet as their parents do - as an information source, to shop or to read newspapers online - most young people are using it to communicate with one another

The other day, my 11 year old daughter decided to make Halloween cards for everyone in the family. She went online, found graphics for each of the cards & downloaded them. When she finished she attached all the cards to one email and sent it from her account to mine. There is no printer attached to her computer, so she needed to email those files so they would be printable via another desktop, which she used to print the cards.

When she opened up MS Outlook to do her emailing, she received a few messages from a friend of hers whom she met at camp this past summer.

She's 11.

She's a content creator, though she doesn't have a web page yet, she knows what a blog is and was just asking me last night how a person gets one.

John at Freshblog posts today about the Pew Center's findings re: young people's internet usage. Not surprisingly, youth are not passive users but content creators and in some segments they are more savvy than their parents. Their chief purpose is connectivity, relationship.

We are only now discovering this information, but this has been happening for some time. It is a trend which will significantly change the way we communicate and connect across the board. I hesitate to make predictions about the character of those changes, but I wouldn't be surprised if there comes a further push toward easily usable, technologically sophisticated, web based software that enhances quick multi-user converstaion. In other words, the next wave of "web 2.0" innovation will be driven in some signicant way by adolescents.

The Pew results page is here. The page includes links to the full report in PDF format, as well as many other resources and related articles.

Incidentally, thank you John for pointing at Nouslife. I will be bookmarking him post-haste.

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