I’m fairly obsessed with technology and the web in general. But I really don’t get the MySpace phenomenon. Sure, I get it conceptually. But I don’t get it personally. I’m probably just too old. Through blogging, I’ve established some new and rewarding professional connections and have had some old friends reconnect with me through Google searches. But, ultimately, most of my friends are non-geeks in the 25-35 age bracket. It wouldn’t even occur to them to use the web for social networking like the MySpace generation does.

A recent Pew study shows that the web really is becoming a way of life for American teens. The age gap I feel is real. Here are some key stats:

  • Half of American teens (12-17) are online content creators, meaning they’ve created their own blog or web pages or shared content like videos and photos online.
  • 22% of teens maintain their own personal web page.
  • 19% of online teens maintain a blog (as compared to 7% of online adults)
  • 38% of online teens read blogs (as compared to 27% of online adults)

I think the divide in the way teenagers and adults use the Internet is even wider than the study shows. The adults I know who maintain and read blogs typically do so in a perso-professional way. They blog about politics, technology, their jobs, etc. Less so about their personal lives. I would argue that nearly all of the teenagers are blogging/creating content as an extension of their social lives.

As Danah Boyd wrote in her great essay about why MySpace has been so successful:

“…i think we’re seeing a huge shift in social life – negotiating super publics. I kinda suspect that MySpace teens are going to lead the way in figuring this out, just as teens in the 60s and 70s paved the way to figuring out globalized life with TV.”

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.