Teens vs. Adults: Mobile Internet Behavior

25 percent of teens use their smartphones as primary method to go online.

By on April 24, 2013

According to a recent study by Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, teens rely on their smartphones for online access more than adults do.

The study finds that although 93 percent of teens have access to a computer at home, 25 percent reach for their smartphone as their primary online vehicle, whereas only 15 percent of adults use their wireless devices as their first choice for online viewing. Not surprisingly, while accessing the Internet with their smartphones, teens and adults exhibit very different behavior patterns.  

Once online, teens primarily utilize social networking sites, but in growing numbers are choosing different networking sites than adults. Studies show that teens are spending less time on Facebook, mostly because the site is also used by their parents and other adults. Instagram and Snapchat are examples of other social sites that teens have found ideal because of their focus on photos and videos and the fact that these services are  not as widely used by adults.

In comparison to teens that are accessing social content, adult users are far more likely to use their connectivity to stay on top of recent news, manage bank accounts or check email. ComScore found that use of Web-based email dropped significantly among teens.

With the mobility and affordability smartphones offer, teens will continue to snap up wireless devices at an ever increasing rate. It makes you wonder what social network they will discover next, and if their parents and families will follow their lead.