Pew/Internet Article

While I found the data in this article to be well-reflective of the internet’s impact on teens, I also found it irrelevant, if not obsolete. Given the fast-paced progress of the internet, even information that was recorded but several years ago is relatively void. The data used in this article were compiled in 2004, 2005, and 2006 – a time period when Facebook had not yet reached the popularity that it has amassed today. That the data cites MySpace as the primary venue for online social networking indicates its archaism. Additionally, the data missing from this article was the data that I think most critical to any study of social networking websites: data relevant to the college student demographic (ages 18 to 22, give or take). I am shocked that enough substantive information was found in the demographic of youths ages 12 to 15. I don’t think I even knew what MySpace was when I was twelve. While I understand that this article is a presentation of factual survey information, I hesitate to say that it makes a definitive statement about the “social impact of the internet,” the supposed intent of the Pew Internet Project.

To lump 12-year-olds with the social group labeled “teens” is a stretch. And furthermore, to make a stronger argument about the nature of teens and the internet, why not include a study that incorporated 18 and 19 year olds? I would venture to guess that college students use Facebook/MySpace far more than middle schoolers, who, up until recently, were not even allowed to have Facebook accounts.  

I think I was dissatisfied with the way the article presented this information because their was no coinciding argument. Though I understand that the intent of the article was to present data rather than analyze it, I was disappointed by the fact that there were no conjectures made about the affects of the internet on “teens.” And to fatten the data pool with statistics reflecting 18-22 year olds would have only provided a more robust opportunity to put forth an hypothesis.

One response to “Pew/Internet Article