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Teenagers don’t play video games or use Facebook?

By Barcham - 11 June 2013 20

Games

After a recent UC study into digital technology and its relationship with Australian teenagers, Dr Karen Macpherson has sent out a press release with results that seemingly contradict the stereotype of the game playing, Facebook-obsessed teenager.

Teenagers were asked about their typical after school activities with computer games only just scraping into the top 10 in 10th place and Facebook ranked ninth. Family time topped the list, with sport, homework, hobbies and odd jobs also in the top 10, compiled as part of a report commissioned by the Australian Computer Society Community Engagement Board.

“We really need to re-think our stereotypes of modern teenagers,” the report’s author, Dr Karen Macpherson from the University of Canberra Education Institute, said.

“No one would argue against the fact that teenagers have welcomed digital technologies into their lives with open arms. But it may be that the popular stereotype of teenagers as being consumed by Facebook and computer games needs some rethinking. Although technology is now woven into their lives, for example on a daily basis almost half of the teenagers surveyed access Facebook, this study suggested that young people today spend most of their time doing what they have done after school for generations: spending time with family; playing sport; doing jobs around the house; and doing homework. And as they get older, casual jobs are also common.”

While I certainly don’t see games as a terrible plague infecting our youth or anything ridiculous like that, I do find myself questioning the accuracy of the results.

They polled teenagers? How many lied? How many consider hanging out with their family while using their phone to check Facebook or play Angry Birds as “spending time with family” instead of “time spent doing those other things?”

A lot of people don’t consider casual games to be the same thing as computer games.

Many people will tell you they don’t play “computer games”, and then turn around to have another go at Bejeweled.

The teenager’s top 10

When asked what they do after school, the most common activities young people undertake on a regular basis (at least several times a week) are:

1. spending time with family (90%)

2. doing homework (82%)

3. watching television (75%)

4. doing jobs around the house (73%)

5. spending time doing a hobby (72%)

6. playing sport (67%)

7. seeing friends (65%)

8. reading (62%)

9. Facebook(61%)

10. playing computer games (46%)

I guarantee you most people when involved in those top 8 activities, whether they be teeangers or adults, are probably also checking Facebook and getting in a bit of Candy Crush Saga when they can.

How many of you have Candy Crush Saga open in another tab right now? Would you consider this “computer game” time?

The full report is available here, and covers a much broader range of subjects than the press release does. Check it out if you’re interested.

[Image by driph (CC BY-SA 2.0)]

What’s Your opinion?


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20 Responses to
Teenagers don’t play video games or use Facebook?
Mr Evil 8:25 pm 11 Jun 13

johnboy said :

They get a bit quiet about that when a beardy weirdy from UC is sitting across from them with a clipboard.

But JB, it’s UC research – so wouldn’t the interviewing be done by hip, 20-somethings that can relate to the teenage ‘condition’?

And I forgot to add, “putting their finger into their belly-button and sniffing it” as a common teenage activity.

johnboy 8:13 pm 11 Jun 13

They get a bit quiet about that when a beardy weirdy from UC is sitting across from them with a clipboard.

Mr Evil 8:10 pm 11 Jun 13

Where’s masturbating, shagging, binge drinking, taking lurid photos of themselves and posting them on the net, vandalising/tagging stuff, and sniffing glue/solvents?

joingler 7:48 pm 11 Jun 13

There is a link from their facebook feed as well. You have to scroll down a fair bit as they post stuff every 33.6 seconds

http://www.facebook.com/theprojecttv?fref=ts

dtc 7:44 pm 11 Jun 13

Keep in mind that this story records what teenagers actually do (claim to do). Not what they would like to be doing.

So spending time with family and homework could well rate well below playing computer games and FBing, but the teens know that they have to do the homework or the families insist that time is spent at the dinner table or whatever.

I mean, survey me and most of my time is spent at work, followed by housework and caring for the kids. What I actually want to do probably doesnt even make it into the top 10 of things I actually do.,

johnboy 5:49 pm 11 Jun 13

Nothing wrong with linking to a story!

The traffic bump is not significant compared to being on our front page.

Draw from that what you will!

eily 5:44 pm 11 Jun 13

Ben_Dover said :

The reality?

1. Sulking.
2. Complaining.
3. Moping.
4. Arguing.
5. Looking for “lost stuff” in hugely untidy bedrooms.
6. Making the bedroom hugely untidy.
7. Hanging with mates outside the local IGA.
8. Watching TV, while updating their facebook page, while playing online games, while listening to “music” on headphones.
9. Complaining about the tea made for them / demanding McDeath for tea.
10. Eating.

Sleeping. Not nesessarily in bed.
Things done with opposite / same sex. Not nesessarily in bed either.

p1 5:39 pm 11 Jun 13

It looks like The Project (formally the 7pm Project), has tweeted and facebooked (and likely other platforms’ed) this riotact story. Will the massive flow of page views bring in enough for JB to retire to a desert island?

Somehow I doubt it. Nice that they refer people here though, rather then just ripping off the story as the big commercial enterprises occasionally do.

johnboy 5:36 pm 11 Jun 13

Gosh, and we got a link from the Project!

https://twitter.com/theprojecttv/status/344283946256846849

Gerry-Built 12:10 pm 11 Jun 13

qbngeek said :

You forgot ‘Stabbing’ and ‘Causing mischief’. I hear they aare the top two options for teens from Belcrompton and surrounds

This; from someone from quangers!? 😛

joingler 11:55 am 11 Jun 13

I don’t think the results are that inaccurate. I am 22 so finished my teenage years not that long ago.

I don’t think that the average teenager considers playing games on a smartphone/internet browser computer games. I think they are largely seen as time killers/boredom busters. I’d be very interested to see how much time the average teenager spends on game consols – xbox, play station etc

61% on facebook, I am pretty sure facebook said last year that they are struggling to engage the 16-21 year old age bracket. I am also pretty sure that 60+ is the fastest growing user market on facebook so it is certainly not a typical place for teenagers to hang out

Most teenagers do actually get along with their family and spending time with family can easily mean babysit little sister or take little brother to soccer training.The homework does surprise me, I never had any homework until I hit yr 11. Maybe I was just too lazy. The biggest surprise to me is no ‘listening to music’ on there. Todays teenage generation appear to be very much into the music scene. Perhaps that falls under ‘doing a hobby.’

qbngeek 11:55 am 11 Jun 13

Ben_Dover said :

The reality?

1. Sulking.
2. Complaining.
3. Moping.
4. Arguing.
5. Looking for “lost stuff” in hugely untidy bedrooms.
6. Making the bedroom hugely untidy.
7. Hanging with mates outside the local IGA.
8. Watching TV, while updating their facebook page, while playing online games, while listening to “music” on headphones.
9. Complaining about the tea made for them / demanding McDeath for tea.
10. Eating.

You forgot ‘Stabbing’ and ‘Causing mischief’. I hear they aare the top two options for teens from Belcrompton and surrounds

EvanJames 11:46 am 11 Jun 13

Ben_Dover said :

The reality?

1. Sulking.
2. Complaining.
3. Moping.
4. Arguing.
5. Looking for “lost stuff” in hugely untidy bedrooms.
6. Making the bedroom hugely untidy.
7. Hanging with mates outside the local IGA.
8. Watching TV, while updating their facebook page, while playing online games, while listening to “music” on headphones.
9. Complaining about the tea made for them / demanding McDeath for tea.
10. Eating.

Classic! Should come wiht a warning though, i had a mouthful of lunch when I started reading that.

Barcham raises some good points, that kiddies probably don’t classify their Staring At The Phone and Prodding It as “being on FB” or playing games, these things are so integral to their day. They do them as a norm while they “do” other things. So being hunched up on the couch with their hoodie up and white earbuds in, staring at phone = ‘time with family”.

Ben_Dover 11:35 am 11 Jun 13

The reality?

1. Sulking.
2. Complaining.
3. Moping.
4. Arguing.
5. Looking for “lost stuff” in hugely untidy bedrooms.
6. Making the bedroom hugely untidy.
7. Hanging with mates outside the local IGA.
8. Watching TV, while updating their facebook page, while playing online games, while listening to “music” on headphones.
9. Complaining about the tea made for them / demanding McDeath for tea.
10. Eating.

Solidarity 10:27 am 11 Jun 13

No need to check Facebook after school – They’ve just spent 8 hours on it!

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