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AP Reports Young People Use The Internet 234

prostoalex writes "You read a lot of stories about older generation either adopting or having troubles with Internet. But some people in this world cannot imagine their everyday life without Internet. The kids who went to school during the early days of the Web are now going to colleges and are demanding broadband, downloading music, sharing photos and posting to Web logs, Associated Press says. Most of the everyday tasks, like homework and job search, have migrated to the Web as well. According to the latest data, 188.5 million Americans and more than 1 billion people globally are online."
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AP Reports Young People Use The Internet

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  • Ok... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by krymsin01 ( 700838 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @07:18AM (#11006414) Homepage Journal
    Where's the news in this? A story on slashdot about the fact that there are people out there in the world who can't imagine not having net access? Look who you are talking to here...
    • ya that's what i was thinking. i mean what is this? people telling everybody that the INTERNET is used a lot... well everybody knows that... what are they going to put up next, what is the colour of bush's notebook!
    • You overlooked the real news story. There are not alot of 80 year old bloggers..... wait... guess that wasn't news either ....
      • Yes, but, I wonder what long term effect some of these blogs might be. For instance...what about future presidential candidates. Heck, you thinks its bad now how they dig things up on you, what about in the future when they can access and gather all this stuff you've posted as a young person. You ideas changes, etc...but, those old rants will be forever out there for people to possibly use against you.
    • The news, according to their screwed-up stats, is the big decline after next year, from 1.7 bln in 2005 to 1.21 bln in 2006:

      934 mln people worldwide are online in 2004. 1.7 bln will be online in 2005, 1.21 bln by 2006, 1.35 bln by 2007.

      Either they forgot a zero before the 7 in next year's stats, or they believe we're headed for a global war that will kill off half-a-billion net users in 2006.

      This was not news to anyone. This was not stuff that matters. This was just a shill piece by Clickz Stats - and yo

      • War in 2006... reminds me of a book I read a few years back, where the author was predicting the third world war would break out in, guess what...? 2006 []!
        Guess it was wrong of me to laugh at him, afterall.
      • While we're at it - another misleading stat:
        10% of under-teenagers have their own Web site
        According to this [], world population by age (original figures were in thousands, so added 3 zeroes:
        0-4 617,204,000
        5-9 606,072,000
        10-14 604,898,000 (so, split in half, say 302,449,000)
        Obviously, there's not 1.5 billion web sites for kids under 13. It's only when you click through the link that you see this:
        Grunwald Associates finds that 10% of children ages six to 17 in the US have their own Web site.
        So, 2 more flaws. The "stats" are US-only. And, lLast I looked, kids between 13 and 17 were not "under-teenagers".
        #ifndef CLICKZ_STATS
        #define CLICKZ_STATS

        #ifndef FALSE
        #define FALSE 0

        #define PATH_TO_CLICKZ_STATS_RAW_DATA "/dev/urandom"
        #define WHERE_TO_FILE_CLICKZ_STATS_STORIES "/dev/null"

        Monday morning. It figures.
  • Blah (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 06, 2004 @07:18AM (#11006416)
    In Korea, only elderly young people use the internet.

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @07:19AM (#11006422) Homepage
    Here in the UK there seems to be a shift in younger children (not late teens) back to more sporting activities , outdoor games etc and away from the computer/console. Also the use of the computer and internet in schools seems to have been a bit of white elephant as letting kids just surf is no substitute for proper teaching.
    • Here in the UK there seems to be a shift in younger children (not late teens) back to more sporting activities , outdoor games etc and away from the computer/console.

      Yeah, and a shift to loitering around menacingly around council estates and throwing verbal abuse at the elderly, right? ;-)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      This is because those younger children have always had access to the net, they don't think it is anything special just like the way people who have always had tv don't think that's anything special. However, I'd bet that if the Internet was removed from their lives they'd suddenly find that there was a large hole and they had to find ways to do the things that they did before or else do other things.

      Computers in state schools have always been a white elphant due to the teachers having absolutly no technical

      • by Tim C ( 15259 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @08:34AM (#11006602)
        I bet you'd struggle to find one in 50 who had ever even written a hello world in qbasic, one in 500 who could do the same in C

        And what has that to do with a person's ability to use a computer as a teaching aid? If they're supposed to be teaching computing then sure; if they're just supposed to be *teaching*, though, and are using the computer as another tool, like exercise books and a blackboard are tools, then what does it matter? As long as they *can* use it, they should be fine.
        • by HoldenCaulfield ( 25660 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @11:40AM (#11007626) Journal
          While I agree in spirit with what you've said, it's worth noting that for computers to effectively be used in the classroom, we're asking a lot of our teachers. In my mind, for a school to justify using a computer in the classroom as a teaching aid, a teacher has to be comfortable with the tech, realize that a computer crashing isn't the end of the world, and then come up with innovative ways to use a computer, so it's not just a glorified blackboard. In my experience teaching, most schools (K-12) are still at the point where computers (and more tech oriented stuff in general) are just sort of gee-whiz devices, with lots of bells and whistles.

          There's definitely still a lot of entrenched teachers who are thinking "Why bother?" when it comes to computers, as there may be relucatnace to learn something new, and also the benefits from bothering to learn it are slim to none - i.e. they've been teaching for 20 years, and it's worked so far, why switch now?

          Part of me thinks it's going to take a killer app of sorts for computers to really take off as learning tools - classroom management you already see them being used (worksheets, networked grade programs, e-mail, etc), but as teaching devices, they're not quite there . . .

          Anyway, to get back to the original "hello world" example, teachers who can do that, are going to be more likely to take risks and experiment using the technology in the classroom, than the teacher who all they can do is use the internet and office apps. So, there is definitely some benefit to having teachers who are traditional hackers of sorts . . . though it's disappointing sometimes to realize how few teachers are like this . . .
          • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @03:42PM (#11009822)
            There are some other faults with the networked/digital classroom.

            Powerpoint. I swear, PPT presentations make me more ignorant of the material. Professors just go wild with them, adding little obnoxious photos and animated borders, yet the entire "presentation" is about a page of text. Worse, most profs seem to do this for the sake of technology, as if having a projector in the room means they have no choice but to make useless powerpoint presentations.

            Some even abuse it, treating powerpoint as their personal publishing house with terrible results. There's a reason why they won't publish your textbook, ya know.

            The digital campus gets a bit ironic in a way when students have to print out all these files from various locations thus getting even farther away from the so-called paperless solution.

            When I first went to school we had books, lectures, notes, and labs (depending on the class). Now I have to print out all sorts of powerpoints, which are considered notes, take notes on the "notes," watch teaching skills fly out the window as profs just click the mouse and repeat bullet points like marketing execs, bring a laptop with me if I want to do anything productive, etc.

            I'm sure there's a good middle ground, but right now it seems computers in the classroom are still in the gimmick stage. The real advatages are outside the classroom, like websites with class info, grades, etc. Inside, its a mess.

            • Reminds me of the horrendous results often had by sitting someone down in front of an early model Macintosh, with a LaserWriter parked right next to it. "Cool....12 fonts on a single page!" It made me appreciate the role that typesetters/layout designers play in the world of written communication.

              Of course now, many of them have usurped the computer screen (especially when it comes to the web), mistakenly believing that it's a direct substitute for the printed page. No matter where you look, there's a lot
            • There's definitely still a lot of entrenched teachers who are thinking "Why bother?" when it comes to computers, as there may be relucatnace to learn something new, and also the benefits from bothering to learn it are slim to none - i.e. they've been teaching for 20 years, and it's worked so far, why switch now?


            Indeed, WHY BOTHER? For some activities (ie learning a foreign language, typing papers) computers can be GREAT aids, but computers in the classrooms are, in general, a VERY piss poor idea.

            • This thread is a bit outdated, but I thought I'd reply. The points you raise are generally valid, but that's why I mention the idea of a killer app of sorts. Maybe someone someday will come up with a way that computers can effectively be used. There are definite niches in which they can make things easier. Labview software in chem labs can make titrations much easier to execute, explain, and understand. And I've seen some excellent uses of Geometer's Sketchpad [] in the classroom as well. Same thing with
          • Also the benefits from bothering to learn it are slim to none

            They may also have an instinctive understanding of Robert Glass's sixth Fact []: "New tools and techniques cause an initial loss of productivity/quality." Admittedly, he was talking about software engineering, but the principle is far more generally applicable.

        • >> I bet you'd struggle to find one in 50 who had ever even written a hello world in qbasic, one in 500 who could do the same in C

          And what has that to do with a person's ability to use a computer as a teaching aid? If they're supposed to be teaching computing then sure; if they're just supposed to be *teaching*, though, and are using the computer as another tool, like exercise books and a blackboard are tools, then what does it matter? As long as they *can* use it, they should be fine.

          In my day,
      • You're obviously a programmer. Technical knowledge doesn't always equate to programming. In fact, I'd say programming often doesn't equate to technical knowledge. On one of my past jobs, I'd get calls from programmers about an OS issue. I'd askt hem basic troubleshooting questions about their configuration. "I dunno, that's the OS" or "I dunno, that's hardware." I realize that's becoming less the case these days (and UNIX and Linux platform programmers are definitely an exception) but it happens, I imagine.
    • There's a point in the article about the internet taking over hard-copies in research. While this is true for most things (we all love google), a lot of specific information still isn't available on the internet, especially not for free.
      Anyway, most teachers require non-internet sources. I find the thought of using the internet exclusively for a major assesment rather frightening- I'd rather use an oldfashioned book by a respected academic than someone's 9th grade essay. It really depends on a lot.
    • Here in Korea its same too...

      Only old people...

      oh damn.. its like a virus in my brain lol!
  • Duh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Roger Keith Barrett ( 712843 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @07:20AM (#11006423)
    "Young people use the internet" ==
    "Old people yell 'get off my lawn!!'"
    • Re:Duh (Score:5, Funny)

      by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @07:22AM (#11006430) Homepage Journal
      Don't be silly, Old people use email.
      • Re:Duh (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Zorilla ( 791636 )
        Old people speak in complete, lucid sentences;
        Yng ppl spk n br0kn sms sp3k bc its kewl bbl kthxbye.
        • ...on exactly how old we're talking about.;-)

          If senility sets in, "lucid" wouldn't exactly be the word I'd use to describe the sentences.
    • Re:Duh (Score:2, Funny)

      by 0zzy ( 718396 )
      I could give a rip about my lawn... "Get off my wireless connection! All you young people are good for is lagging out my counter strike connection with your illegal music and pr0n."
  • Poll (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xtracto ( 837672 )
    What is the most sensless news post that has been posted in /. ?? any votes?,

    One for this!
  • by dncsky1530 ( 711564 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @07:26AM (#11006444) Homepage
    whats next? a large news outlet [] discovers [] blogging
  • Obvious (Score:5, Funny)

    by bobbagum ( 556152 ) <> on Monday December 06, 2004 @07:27AM (#11006450) Homepage
    That's an appropriate use of the Obvious tag for once. Hang on a minute... Oopse, Wrong site...
  • by foobsr ( 693224 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @07:28AM (#11006453) Homepage Journal
    Young people are now the savviest of the tech-savvy,...

    Yes, from my point of view, especially those who have failed to learn their native language ...

    • This is bullshit, using AIM and typing 'OMG LOL!!!!111!1' does not make anyone tech savvy. They might not be as afraid of the computer, but they are no more cluefull then any other average person.
  • News for /. (Score:4, Funny)

    by oexeo ( 816786 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @07:29AM (#11006456)
    The dictionary called, it wants its definition of redundant back.
  • Internet uses young people!
  • by chadpnet ( 627771 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @07:34AM (#11006466) Homepage
    In other breaking news:

    • We landed on the moon
    • We pulled out of vietnam
    • Reagan won his second term
    • stay tuned as more develops, I'm going to go figure out how to program my VCR...
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <.teamhasnoi. .at.> on Monday December 06, 2004 @07:35AM (#11006469) Journal
    Which of the internets are the old people having trouble with? The wood one?

    They should really restart their monitor. That usually fixes it for me.

    In all seriousness, can you even get the internets when you're old? I know my old people are still using Toltec Bead Messengers. Those guys can run like crazy (at least 22 hertz an hour), and you have a nice little belt when you're done checking your news-groups.

    • Instead of trying for cheap laughs you might want to bear in mind that some of the old people out there actually built the internet that you're using right now. Check out the history of (D)ARPA. Anyone who was over 30 in the late 60s is a pensioner now.
  • From the article:
    AOL's Bird predicts that teens will be among the first to embrace new, Web-based video technology. "You will very soon be able to shoot video messages and play those video messages on your blog that your friends can go to," Bird says. "So your community, your scheduling, your friends, your holidays - all of this stuff will live in an online environment."

    They already can, there's already a subculture based around it, and Maddox has already made fun of it [].
  • 30-40% of Internet use at work is not work-related

    You mean getting to your site from ./ at work...
  • In America, Only Young People Use The Internet
  • Thirteen? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Ex-Cyber ( 125514 )
    Time to make it thirteen [], I guess.
  • The kids... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Oligonicella ( 659917 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @08:07AM (#11006532)
    "who went to school during the early days of the Web are now going to colleges and are demanding broadband, downloading music, sharing photos and posting to Web logs"

    Then discovering, to their sorrow, that these services are not free, but were provided to them by their parents. Grow the hell up.
  • Please please post a new story for the homepage! it is a shame to see this as the first story in the Definitely-tech-geek site... can you imagine if someone enters and see what we "geeks" are talking about lol
  • about the internet "changing everything" had some truth to it. The dot com euphoria got me into [and just as promptly out of] several jobs at startups that were funded because even smart [ok, greedy] people believed absolutely everyone would be shoping on line, be in constant contact with all their friends and so on...
    I know booking air travel is largely out of the hands of travel agents so a few business activities are pretty much dominated by internet. But other activities like watching movies are more
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Thats alot of americans online.

    According to the current population of people in the world.

    U.S. 294,915,774
    World 6,404,645,282
    07:19 EST Dec 06, 2004
    • I was more intrigued by the simple conclusion that fewer than 20% of people online are from the US. How is this reflected in /.s user profile? Is the "most /.ers are Americans" line in the FAQ now well past its sell-by date?
  • It's the old story: college campuses are becoming more and more connected. Students are getting more "internet-savvy" as they do everything online. There seems to be an overemphasis on the "connectedness" of colleges - this doesn't necessarily translate into a good educational environment. Take a look at the America's top connected universities [] and compare to the best universities []. Two different lists.
  • homework ?? (Score:2, Funny)

    by phreakv6 ( 760152 ) homework..

    yea.. so u can outsource it to bangalore
  • by cozziewozzie ( 344246 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @08:39AM (#11006612)
    For the longest time, I thought that the free exchange of information that the Internet brings would ensure that good ideas get spread, and that the overall knowledge of its users would rise as a result of being exposed to better information. What seems to have happened, though, is that people who use internet got stupider. Nobody can spell anymore (it's considered 'cool' to screw up even the most orthographically simple words). Arguments on internet boards (with a few exceptions) are getting stupider, and people who would get a good spanking IRL are turning into the most obnoxious flamers. Instead of using the vast amounts of information available to them to reexamine their views, people seek out only the articles and sites which support their already cemented opinions, with little regard to critical thought.

    Sadly, it seems that, while the Internet was ready to face the challenges of global information exchange 20 years ago, we are not nearly at that stage yet. Simply providing the tools hasn't helped the society as a whole to improve our level of communication, or to expand our knowledge through the availability of information (fringe groups like scientists excluded). Because of this reason, I'm wondering whether Internet in schools will serve the purpose I originally believed it would serve, or if it will simply produce a new army of AOL and MSN Messenger trolls.
    • The internet, like anything else is what you make of it. You could choose to watch American Idol if you like, just as you can choose to go to moronic sites and engage in idiototic arguments online.
      • The internet, like anything else is what you make of it.

        I only partly agree. The internet is very unlike anything else. On the other hand, it IS what you make of it. I was hoping that most people would be able to make more of it, that's all.
        • I'm with you, but then again I have come to never expect too much from the majority. When you expect people to make smart decisions you'll always be disapointed.
        • of course people often seek what is familiar to them.
          The new generation has a lot more chance of being exposed to amny different view points because they haven't been entrenched in there view points.

          It will happen, open informaitn has always lead to a better world overall.
          The printing press opened up a lot of minds, but there has been a lot of crap printed.
          Much like this AP article...
    • When television was invented, they thought this would finally be the invention to educate the masses.

      As long as stupid people use the internet, it will be used stupidly.

    • It's not that people using forums are getting stupider, it's that stupider people are joining the forums.

      It used to be that the internet was the domain of the intellectual elite, but it's growing to include a larger percentage of undereducated people. So people aren't getting dumber, you're just no longer shielded from them.

    • Your view is as limited as your knowledg. Also note, spelling is NOT that important. The standardization of written english is moronic. There is no correct or incorrect spelling as long as what is written is understood. There is only conformance or non conformance to a poorly designed standard. That is all.
  • ...and how much of the article would you have to change to get something that probably appeared in print fifty or so years ago?
  • Let me suggest a few, AP.

    Many Roadway Users Drive Automobiles

    Sleepers Using Beds Now More Than Ever

    Old People Not as Young as They Used to Be

    Study Reveals Phone Usage Common Among Americans
  • Does this make anyone else wonder what the next big thing is going to be that we'll be too old to figure out but the younger generation will be all over?

    I guess then we'll know how our parents and grandparents felt about the Internet and computers in general.
  • "These kids today" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RealProgrammer ( 723725 ) on Monday December 06, 2004 @09:02AM (#11006688) Homepage Journal
    More generally, each generation is more adept at using the technology it grew up using, and less adept at using what its forebears had.

    My grandfather's generation toasted bread on a stove or in an oven, usually burning wood. They got electricity in their homes so they could go hi-tech and use a toaster. Well, they needed lights, too, but perfect toast was a big draw.

    I'm a tail-end Boomer, born in 1963. My dad's generation could do trigonometry on a slide rule; I need a calculator.

    Dad knew FORTRAN and BASIC. I know many computer languages.

    I got my first computer, a TRS-80 Model II, in 1977. I learned BASIC and a little Z80 assembler. I needed to learn programming just to use the machine.

    My kids have had, as long as they can remember, at least one computer in the house, usually networked together and with Internet access. They don't know any programming languages; they haven't needed to learn any to use the computer.

    To my generation, computers were nerdy. To theirs, computers are more like TVs or toasters: part of the furniture.

    Recently I gave my 16-year-old daughter, who's not a nerd, a new computer, running Linux. I told her it was different, but that it was Free. Being an idealist, she thought that was Just Totally Cool. A day later she told me proudly that she had her CD collecton "programmed in" so that it had all the information about the tracks and artists for all her tunes.

    It's just part of the furniture.
    • (reply to sibling)
      That was a typo: it should have said "TRS-80 Model I - Level II". My machine got the whopping 16K expansion, and later a couple of disk drives.

      Inspired by Moria under PLATO, I wrote a wire-frame 3D maze game in BASIC. It generated a randomized bitmap according to some reasonableness rules, then saved the dungeon to tape for loading later. About all you could do is wander the maze, so it wasn't much fun. It got unwieldy, as all BASIC programs tend to do.
    • "Monday, October 6, 2014. Today a terrorist attack left a hundred schools without internet access. Four suicides have been reported. The police is assisting those who had a nervous crisis. So far the situation is stable, since the students were told they would get back their internet access for tomorrow."

      I just hope situations like this don't become real. Sheesh...
  • It is not just the children or older generation, but also middle aged people who go seeking porn on the intarweb.
  • the older generation you insensitive clod!
  • This really isn't much of a surprise. I was on the cutting edge as early as eight or nine years old, doing BBSes back in the 80s. I even ran one for nine years. Most of my BBS friends who were of equivelent age range (+/- 3 years) went right to the net in 1994 when it became more widely available and had already started the process we're seeing now.

    The only reason we haven't seen this sooner is that the BBS world wasn't quite so accessible to your average kid-- you had to know a lot more to get online than
    • The only reason we haven't seen this sooner is that the BBS world wasn't quite so accessible to your average kid-- you had to know a lot more to get online than you do now.

      Based on my memories of BBS'ing in the 80's at 300 and 1200 (WHOA, that's fast) baud, "you had to know a lot more" meant you had to know:
      1. The phone numbers of BBS's
      2. that weren't busy all the time
      3. and had decent content for YOUR system (C64, Apple, TRS-80, Coleco Adam. Yes, Coleco Adam. Shut up.)
      • Not to mention how to hook up the modem properly, obtain a copy of the terminal software of your choice, and somehow get the first BBS number so you could get others. Back before there were actual useful BBS lists, it could be somewhat difficult to get started.

        I'll rephrase it as "The barrier to entry for the casual user was a bit steeper".

        With ISPs being a mostly commercial venture, they're more inclined to provide enough support to get you started even without knowing someone already in the loop.
  • In other news (Score:1, Redundant)

    by deanj ( 519759 )
    In other news, driving a car quickly makes the passengers go faster! This and other AMAZING stories from AP.
  • Depend on the AP to point out the obvious...

  • No, these aren't "essentials". You can easily live without them. Sure they are nice, but they aren't something you really miss when you're "cut off".

    What you miss is information. Plain and simple, google for answer for a question at hand. Be it Bloody Mary recipe, method of calculating 15^17, tomorrow train departure, retail price of a phone your friend offers you as "real bargain", people's opinions about a bank you're going to choose, any of hundreds or thousands daily questions, that required significan
    • Totally - Before the net people used to have recipe books, know basic calculations and be able to use a phone book to call various places for timetables or even go out and ask someone. Now we have become a generation who doesnt even know how to buy hardcore porn from the top shelf of the local shop! i don't think ive ever phoned a cinema to find out a film time, i dont think ive ever even opened the offline yellow pages! And in my entire life, ive never written and posted a letter!
  • But the Internet also has produced many unexpected benefits. Stern, for instance, notes that the Web provides an anonymous outlet to troubled young people who want to talk about everything from suicide and self-mutilation to eating disorders.

    You've got to be kidding me. This article wasn't that great to begin with, but phrases like this kill me.

    There's no way you could consider anonymity an "unexpected benefit" of the Internet. Forget it. It's one of the most obvious features you could imagine.


  • I'm not sure what the purpose of this /. story was other than to make us late 20-somethings feel old. (and 30-somethings even older).

    Back in high school (1992), I cheated on a report for history class, copying a bunch of material off of an encyclopedia cd-rom, printing it on our dot-matrix printer, and coloring the graphics in with colored pencil. I kind of felt like a tool when the teacher held the report in front of the class and said "This is the best report I've ever seen, you all should learn someth
  • 1998 called, they want there article back.

    Next up:
    A whole generstion of people have been raised around automobiles, or as the kids call them 'cars'.
  • broadband okay, web logs, perhaps, downloading music & sharing photos shutup and study.

The absent ones are always at fault.