Tuesday, July 3, 2012

59% of Young People Say the Internet Is Shaping Who They Are

Rosen, Rebecca. "59% of Young People Say the Internet Is Shaping Who They Are. "The Atlantic, June 27, 2012.

From the article: "In the new survey, commissioned by The Atlantic and The Aspen Institute and conducted by Penn Schoen Berland and Associates, we can see some hints of what this early generation of Internet users looks like, vis-a-vis that very technology that they've grown up on, and also with regard to questions of values that cut to the core of what America will look like in the years ahead.Most younger people say that the Internet is shaping who they are. On a question that asked people to rank different sources of influence on their sense of right and wrong, 59 percent of people ages 18 to 29 said that social media or the Internet had a "great deal" or a "fair amount" of influence. Fascinatingly, 38 percent of Americans older than 65 said the same.

…If you dig into the numbers a bit further the picture gets a little more complicated. Both groups say in equal number (47 percent) that they do not expect privacy. The difference comes from a large group of older Americans (14 percent) who say they don't know. So the two groups are equally distrusting, and older Americans just have less well-formed opinions, which makes sense given that they use these sites much less.

A similar pattern appears in response to a question about whether respondents approve or disapprove of tracking from websites: A far greater proportion of younger Americans approve of this behavior (40 percent) than older Americans (18 percent), but the percent who disapprove is similar (58 versus 62, respectively). Again the gap comes from a sizable chunk of the 65+ group who say they don't know (20 percent). " Read more