UK & World News

  • 7 August 2014, 10:15

Millennium Generation Teens 'Most Tech Savvy'

A 'Millennium Generation' of 14 and 15-year-olds are the most technologically-savvy age group in the UK, according to new Ofcom research.

The study also found that after hitting our teens our digital confidence begins a long decline, with the nation's six-year-olds claiming they know as much about technology as their parents.

Teenagers born at the turn of the millennium are unlikely ever to have experienced the old-fashioned "dial-up" internet. They are the first generation to take a speedy broadband connection for granted.

Ofcom found they are developing very different communication habits to older generations, even when compared to 16-24-year-olds.

The research - part of Ofcom's 11th Communications Market Report - found children aged 12-15 are turning away from talking on the telephone.

Just 3% of their communication time is spent making voice calls.

Instead 94% is text based, such as instant messaging and social networking. That compares to an average adult who will communicate with voice calls 20% of the time.

Jane Rumble, Head of Media Research at Ofcom, said: "The changes we see with 12-15-year-olds - spending so much time on social networks, texting and instant messaging that they are using the phone less and less - could be a millennium generation that is losing its voice."

But habits are changing across the generations.

The average UK adult now spends more time using media or communications every day (eight hours and 41 minutes) than they do sleeping (eight hours and 21 minutes).

Six in 10 adults now own a smartphone, compared to just one in five four years ago. Almost half of all households also have a tablet.

Paula Skilton believes it is growing up surrounded by gadgets that has made her six-year-old, Kiara, more technologically proficient than her.

She told Sky News: "Nine times out of 10 it is Kiara.

"If she wants to do something then she will go ahead and do it, and if we want to do something she will tell us how to do it.

"If we are doing it wrong she will tell us we're doing it wrong and often she'll teach us tricks on the iPad we never knew existed."

Kiara already despairs of her parent's lack of digital prowess: "They're like... 'Er, er how did she do that ...How did she work that out?'"

Advertisement