Broadband services are becoming increasingly popular as technology advances, and more and more people rely on Internet connectivity to engage with the world. One of the biggest consumers of Internet services and broadband are teenagers with the average teenager spending 27 hours online per week according to the Telegraph. This is a number that has trebled in the last decade and shows that as technology improves and advances the generations are using broadband more and more throughout the day. But what are they using it for?
Sites like Facebook and Twitter have seen usage grow from 22% in 2007 to nearly three quarters now. This shows that the popularity of such sites is catching on to young people and they are now more likely to be seen engaging with people through a broadband connection than face-to-face.
Sites like Facebook allow users to communicate with others around the world at any time of the day. This makes communication a lot simpler than the times when sending a letter or making phone calls were common. Social Media platforms also give users a place to let their feelings be known about any issue they are passionate about and get involved and engaged with any topics that they feel deserves their attention. Many people even see social media as a place to gather news and important information and are often used instead of search engines to find this information.
Social media also has its downfalls which threaten to impact the views of younger generations severely. Facebook recently has been reprimanded over its displaying of ‘Fake News.' During the US presidential elections, there were a large amount of news items that were since shown to be fake and therefore persuading readers to believe something that is entirely fabricated. This sort of thing can alter a young persons view of the world and distort their understanding of important subjects. As technology improves and becomes widely used this problem continues to grow, and so it becomes a concern of parents who allow their teenagers access to the Internet via their broadband.
Online gaming has soared since it was first introduced during the 1990’s. While it was not widespread during the 90’s and early 2000’s it has since grown to be a huge library of games with nearly all games today having online modes.
Console gaming helped see online gaming become widespread when the Playstation 3 and the Xbox were released. Games such as Halo and Pro Evolution Soccer were games that many teenagers had during the late 2000’s and enabled users to play against someone from the other side of the world by connecting to a server.
The rise of online gaming and console gaming with online modes has caused there to be an increase in demand for superfast fibre services to allow for the perfect gaming experience. This in part can be considered as a major reason behind infrastructure improvements as more and more teenagers and household purchased these consoles.
As consoles and PC’s continue to improve their hardware and software capabilities, we can see an increase in the file sizes of many games and update. Most console games today can be at least 15gb in size and can be downloaded from servers via places such as the Xbox Live store. It can also be said that some games actually require you to have an Internet connection in order to be played, especially as this is the way many companies know if the game is a legitimate version. Fibre broadband is often essential to play games online today.
Netflix and Amazon Prime are becoming popular entertainment platforms and compete with each other to display the nations favourite TV shows and films. Many Netflix and Amazon shows are even exclusives to their own platform as the companied begin to gain in stature. A major show for Amazon Prime that is exclusive to them is The Grand Tour hosted by Jeremy Clarkson; this show has been used to publicise Amazon Prime in the UK and across the globe, due to its worldwide audience.
Today’s teenagers were born into a world where on-demand entertainment is readily available, which compared with a few generations ago is a world apart from the 4 or 5 terrestrial channels available via an antenna. You could say that teenagers today are spoilt for choice. It isn’t uncommon today to see teenagers on Netflix watching series after series on-demand at any time of the day. This is a world apart from having to wait a week until the next show and sit down as a family to watch.
Television sets are also becoming more accessible to teenagers as the average household will now have more than one TV set, and with multiroom functionality available from the likes of Sky, it allows teenagers to be apart from the rest of the family and watch their own shows back to back.
It is often overlooked that mobile phones are nowadays a way of connecting to the Internet wherever you are. It is something that teenagers have grown up with and do not know of a world where a mobile phone’s only function was to call people. In fact today, you can buy a mobile phone and never use the device as a conventional phone. With many different apps on a modern smartphone, we are seeing more and more teenagers with their heads in their phones on a daily basis. This is their world where they are connecting with people constantly, and it is becoming increasingly hard to find a teenager who does not have a mobile by the age of 13.