There was a time when school students looked forward to catching up with their friends and making plans to meet over clandestine calls through a landline phone. Now, of course, thanks to technology and social media, staying connected or making plans with friends is not such a big ordeal. According to TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) Gen Y Survey 2013-14 , which aims to identify technology usage patterns among urban teenagers in the country. About 89% of teenagers surveyed have their own mobile phones and over 88% are registered on Facebook.
Pradipta Bagchi, vice president, corporate communications, Tata Consultancy Services, says, “The survey primarily focused on social networking preferences among urban teenagers such as whether they have registered on any social networking site and if so, how often they use/ access it, how many friends they have on these sites and how they access social media.”
According to the survey, while 58% of teenagers believe that social platforms help them stay in touch with family and friends, about 30% admit that real-time interaction has come down with the advent of social media websites. One of the heartening facts to come out of the survey is that students still prefer face-to-face interactions over other forms of communication, says Bagchi.
Teenagers are not only using social media to connect with their friends, but also to keep themselves updated on current affairs and news or gain some additional knowledge on the subjects they learn in school. About 56% of those surveyed claim that they have gained a better knowledge of current affairs and general knowledge through social media. Online shopping is also gaining prominence among high school students with seven out of ten urban teenagers shopping online. A significant percentage of these students not only buy movie or travel tickets online but also high-value items such as clothes and accessories.
Around 48% of urban teenagers post on Facebook once in three days; 53% of high school students have more than 120 friends (on FB), whereas 60% have over 120 friends in the other mini metros. Google + is becoming popular, Orkut is becoming obsolete and Twitter is not very popular among high school students as they find it complicated, points out the survey. There has also been a dramatic increase in mobile phone usage with nine out of ten teenagers using phones.
“In the last five years, the survey has witnessed a shift in preference from home PCs and laptops to smart phones that are the new one-stop shops for urban teenagers who want to stay connected,” says Bagchi.