The survey of 18,000 children worldwide that forms the basis of the report Circuits of Cool put out by TV networks MTV and Nickelodeon makes for some interesting reading, if the results nevertheless match up with what the TV networks wanted to hear - the TV still rules.
I'd rather see a decent report on how kids are taken to the new forms of communications and entertainment technologies from an organisation that's a bit more independent, not so pre-occupied with filling TV schedules.
But this is the broadest sort of report I've seen on the subject. Among the more noteworthy statistics gathered in New Zealand:
- In New Zealand the average young person (14-24) connected to digital technology has 88 phone numbers in their mobile. The global average is 94.
- They've 77 (global average 78) people on an instant messaging buddy list and 75 (global average 86) people in their social networking community.
- 77 per cent of 8-14 year-old Kiwi kids (59 per cent globally) still prefer their TV to their PC's.
- Only 16 per cent of New Zealand youth 14-24, (20 per cent globally), admitting to being 'interested' in technology.
According to the study, "Northern Europeans take a more practical approach to technology, but are perhaps the most immersed in it of all. Out of all nationalities surveyed, young Danes are most likely to say they can't live without mobiles (80 per cent, versus New Zealand youth at 31 per cent) and young Dutch are most likely to say they can't live without email (85 per cent, versus New Zealand youth at 33 per cent)."
And the Japanese aren't as tech mad as we've apparently been led to believe: "Young Japanese people live in small homes with limited privacy, generally don't have their own PC until they go to college and socialise away from home a lot.
Unlike what is true of New Zealand kids and other kids across the world, for Japanese kids aged 8-14, the phenomenon of social networking, user generated content and accessing music for free is far from the truth.
By Peter Griffin Email Peter
Only 15 per cent of Japanese kids, versus 39 per cent of NZ kids visit User Generated Sites (UGS) regularly and only 4 per cent (versus 16 per cent of NZ kids) have uploaded clips."
If the survey shows anything, it's that Kiwi kids have a healthy scepticism for technology, haven't become completely obsessed with the new wave of internet socialising technologies and think in terms of content rather than technology.
Still, 88 phone numbers in their mobile address book? Some of these kids are more networked than I'll ever be.