How Teenagers Use the Internet

Rinky Dink Inc

Just the same way businesses require an efficient broadband package, the teenagers also require provision of competitive broadband deals from the service providers. This allows the service providers to reach out to this large percentage of internet consumers in a satisfactory way. Researchers have shown that 93 percent of the youth use the internet as compared to 79 percent of the adults. With the advent of the mobile phones, young people are able to spend a lot of their time on the internet interacting with people they know and those they don't. They also engage a lot of their time in new media such as social networking sites and gaming sites.

Since teenagers spend more time on the internet than adults, they are more likely to engage in a broad range of activities as well as giving a try at new technologies. These activities should be seen as opportunities for the broadband business companies to create broadband packages that suit the teens of the current century. Such broadband deals should take into account the fact that youths will spend more time on the internet and at varied locations. In fact, the mobile plays the greatest role in providing the teenagers with a platform to engage in these varied activities on the internet.

The Role of Parents

The fact that the internet provides teenagers with many opportunities is undeniable. The parents are still however expected to provide guidance to teenagers due to their vast experience in life. From the youth's point of view, the internet is a place for hanging out. In fact, research has shown that youths engage more in using the internet for a number of activities such as social networking, purchasing items, sharing contents such as photos, videos, art and stories, reading about current news and events and searching information related to health, physical fitness and diet. Of course, this is recommendable because it increases their capacity to interpret and manipulate large amounts of data at their disposal over the internet. Youths will also have higher chances of enhancing their reading and writing skills over the internet as they share information in online forums.

Parents are therefore encouraged to keep up with technology so that they are able to provide guidance to teenagers on the internet activities they are engaging in. The internet in itself poses several threats to the youth

a) Harassment - as the teens engage in the social networking sites, they are likely to come across people who are bullies and in the course of their communication start exchanging messages that are indecent, violent or even racist. Parents need to be knowledgeable about these kinds of harassment and bullying to assist the youth in dealing with them.

b) Relationships - teens many find themselves entering relationships that are inappropriate on the internet. A person posing as a 16-year-old boy on the Internet may actually be a 42-year-old man.

c) Victimisation - the internet also has people engaging in such activities as molestation and exploitation. The teenagers may easily find themselves sharing personal information with these predators. This may even go beyond such that these predators organise a physical meeting with the teen. If parents are not in tune with the youth's internet adventures, they may end up being victims of the same.

d) Pornography - research has shown that about 70 percent of the teens between 15 to 17 years have accidentally landed on pornographic sites while on the internet. Sometimes, it is out of curiosity as they keep searching information online. Parents need to be aware of this risk their teens are exposed to.

e) Financial information - sometimes the teens may be excited about an offer and give out their parents financial details such as the credit card details. This can eventually lead to trouble especially if this information lands on wrong hands.

Parents, therefore, have a role to play in protecting the teens from the dangers posed by the internet. Some of the measures include:

a) Familiarising themselves with the social networking sites, blogs and other internet communication tools and technologies.

b) A positive approach to the discussions involving their teens' access to the internet. This is to enable the parents to know what the teens are doing. Parents need to show their respect to the technological know-how of their teens as compared to scrutinising of their activities.

c) Agreeing on some basics about the amount of time to spend on internet and level of information sharing. Information such as personal details, financial details, pictures and family details should be limited to minimise exposing the family to predators.

d) Assist in setting up of secure settings for their teens to use the internet. This may involve keeping the list of their passwords and making them know that you will be checking occasionally on their activities.

e) Minimising the exposure time to the internet to allow rest. This may involve not sleeping with their mobile phones.

f) Being sensitive to any behavioural changes related to the use of the internet. This may include a significant increase in the amount of time spent on the internet, secretiveness, sleeping problems and inappropriate sexual behaviours.

g) Monitoring their online purchases and encouraging them to buy only from companies that have a good reputation

As parents consider broadband deals for their teen's internet use, they should also put in mind the following measures:

a) Placing the computer in a central place within the house where it is easily accessible by every member of the household.

b) Monitoring the history of sites visited on a regular basis as a way of encouraging the teens to monitor themselves.

c) Establishing security levels to filter spam and block inappropriate websites.

d) Assisting teens in finding credible, insightful websites and teaching them to be responsible consumers of internet data. Incase of any incidence of visiting unwanted sites, develop a conversation to built trust rather than being confrontational.

Parents should also go an extra mile to advise the teens on some basics like:

a) Not agreeing to a physical meeting with any stranger met on the internet before sharing about them with their parents or other trusted adults.

b) Encouraging them to trust their instinct especially when accessing chat rooms on the internet. They should avoid provocative discussions.

c) To be wary of those asking too much information about them or their family or even their friends.

d) Logging off when encountering something that does not seem comfortable to continue accessing.

e) Not sharing passwords with even closest friends.

Media Streaming

The two main players in the market of media streaming are Amazon Prime and Netflix. A responsible parent needs to understand the difference between the two even as they assist their teens and also as they plan on their broadband deals with the service providers.

Video streaming has become a critical part of the modern day teens live. The advantage with this is that you no longer need to have those TV schedules. In order to assist you make comparisons between the two brands (Netflix and Amazon prime video), we will look at them in terms of price, features, devices and viewing content. This we believe can help you as a parent make up your mind on which one fits your teenagers' needs.

1) Price

The two brands both offer you a trial period of 30 days and this may be the best way to start so as to make a better decision about both of them. For your knowledge, Amazon Prime Video was at one point known as LoveFilm Instant.

The pricing of the Netflix video begins at 7.49 sterling pounds per month. This is for a standard package which offers you streaming of HD videos for up to two devices at the same time. The premium package goes for 8.99 pounds per month. The premium package can be used on up to 4 devices and comes with 4K for Ultra HD quality.

Amazon Prime Video, on the other hand, is relatively cheaper as compared to Netflix. Their monthly package comes at 5.99 pounds per month. You can as well sign for the yearly package which comes at 79 pounds per year giving you an average of 6.58 pounds per month. The advantage with the annual package is that you get extra features such as free delivery on the following day and music. Just like Netflix, you can access the videos on up to two devices at the same time.

2) Features

Some of the basics about the two brands are:

a) Both of them are media streaming services based on a subscription method of your choice. This can either be monthly or annually for Amazon and monthly for Netflix. Once you are subscribed, you are guaranteed to unlimited access to your TV shows and videos.

b) Both of them are accessible through the internet on your Smart TVs, set-top-boxes, laptops, computers, mobile devices and game consoles. They are also updated on a regular basis with new films to watch.

As mush as they share these basics, they also have some differences. This include:

a) Netflix seems to offer better account features as compared to Amazon Prime Video. With Netflix, you can set up multiple user accounts to enable you to separate the recommendations and the watch lists. Netflix also has a child-friendly section and hence taking care of your kids who may not be at the same level with the teens.

b) When you stream Netflix videos online, you may see many videos, but only those videos with a prime banner can be watched as part of your subscription. If you need to watch other videos, you may need to incur an additional cost to buy them or rent.

c) The basic Netflix package of 7.49 pounds per month does not come with the 4K content. The Amazon Prime Video, on the other hand, come with the 4K content at no extra costs.

d) You can download videos for offline viewing on Amazon package whereas the Netflix package does not give you this option.

You are therefore likely to get more value for money on Amazon as compared to Netflix.

3) Devices

To be able to access both the Netflix and Amazon Prime Videos, there is a need for compatibility of the devices. Some of these devices include mobile phones, tablets, set-top-box, games console and laptop. We, therefore, explore each of these devices. You should also note that compatibility may also be limited for certain models especially when it comes to TVs and Blu-ray players.

a) To start with both brands can be accessible on your PC through a web browser. This is not limited by the fact that you may not be connected to an external device such as TV or monitor.

b) For Smart TV, Netflix can be accessed on device brands such as Sony, LG, Sharp, Philips, Samsung, Toshiba and Panasonic. Amazon Prime Video will be accessible on Sony, LG, Samsung and Panasonic brands.

c) For Games Console, Netflix will be available on Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Wii and Wii U versions. Amazon Prime Video on the hand will also be available on Xbox One, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Wii and Wii U versions.

d) For Tablets, both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will be accessible on Android and iPad platforms. Amazon Prime Video will, however, be accessible also on the Amazon Fire platform.

e) For Smartphone, both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will be accessible on Android and iPad platforms. Netflix will, however, be accessible also on the Windows Phone platform.

f) For Blu-ray player, both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will be accessible on Sony and Samsung brands. In addition to these brands, Netflix will also be accessible on LG, Panasonic, Philips and Toshiba brands.

g) For Home cinema system, both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will be accessible on LG and Sony brands. Amazon Prime Video will be additionally available on Samsung brand.

h) For Set-top-box, Amazon Prime Video is only accessible on Samsung brand. The Netflix will be accessible on Sony, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and YouView business brands.

i) For Media Streamer, Netflix will be accessible on Apple TV, Roku, Western Digital, Virgin Media, Philips and Google Chromecast. Amazon Prime Video, on the other hand, will be accessible on Fire TV Stick, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV (through AirPlay from your iPad or iPhone).

Netflix has been for some time the most preferred choice for many people because of the many devices it supports. The situation may, however, be changing since the number of devices that can access either of the services are also increasing. Teens therefore now have a wide range of devices they can use for their online video streaming and TV programs.

4) Content

The content to watch is more critical as compared to the other factors such as prices, compatibility and features. Both services are offering TV shows and films which can not be rivalled by any other service provider. The choice of the best option for you teenagers remains yours as a parent, but it also depends on the personal taste of the teens.

On Netflix, for instance, you are guaranteed to access original series such as Better call Saul, House of cards, Daredevil, Bloodline, Orange is the new black, and other documentaries such as Making a murderer. This is just but to mention few of them. On Amazon, you are also guaranteed to access original movies like The man in the high tower, Black Sails, Constantine, Bosch, Ripper Street and Extant. The advantage with Amazon is that you can browse around even without a subscription so that you get an understanding of what they have before signing up.

Each of the two services has just about the same quantity of content with about 4000 TV shows and films on each one of them. As suggested before, it is worth signing up for the trial version in order to get a good idea of each one of them before making your choice.

With all factors held constant, Amazon enjoys an advantage over Netflix because of the following reasons

a) Prime subscription benefits which include one-day delivery, music streaming and free eBooks.

b) Offline viewing of content which may not be the case for Netflix

c) You get 4K without paying an extra cost.

d) It is a cheaper subscription plan as compared to Netflix.

One thing to note though is that you may not be able to access the latest blockbuster movies on these channels. They may be updated several months after their release.

Increased Internet Use Among Teens

Research reveals that teenagers are spending close to 27 hours per week on the internet. This is just about thrice when compared to a decade ago. The computer is still the main device that is being used to access online content. The use of smartphone and tablets have tremendously increased especially among the teens, and at least two-thirds of the teens are using these devices. The growth of the mobile internet has therefore grown in the UK in recent years with the growth being driven by services such as instant messaging, social media, video streaming and playing of games. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger as the main mediums of instant messaging being among the main drivers of this growth.

The technology is opening up a number of opportunities for the teenagers. They are not only watching content online, but they are also messaging and texting friends instantly. The chances are that as these teens transform into youths and then adults, TV viewing may be greatly affected. Off course, the 40-inch screen may not compete regarding quality with devices such as tablets or smartphones. So the TV sets may remain, but the viewing patterns are going to change tremendously. Many people are going to use them more for on-demand and catch-up services.

Conclusion

The today's teens find it easier to go to the internet than to get on that bicycle and cycle to a friend's house. As much as it may be very difficult to meet face to face with another person you have never met before; the internet has made it very easy for the teens to meet with people who may be living in another continent all together. The fact is that the internet is not bad for the teens and the online forums and social networking sites are giving them the necessary exposure to present themselves to the outside world in whichever form they want.

Most parents are however torn between limiting their teen's time on the internet and allowing them the freedom to do whatever they want. Most teens are struggling to socialise with their parents and prefer to talk to a person they don't know on the other end of the computer. There is, therefore, a general feeling among the parents of these teens to keep their children at home and monitor what their teens are doing online. Most parents also just don't want trouble with their teens and prefer to avoid the issue of monitoring their teens internet activities. We already shared some tips on how parents can go an extra mile to assist their teens in shaping their future and not leaving them at the mercy of the internet world.

Just the same way you want to have the right broadband deal for your business, internet connection for your teens is key to facilitate their continued learning and growth. The internet provides an amazing place where the teens can share information seamlessly and acquire knowledge in such areas as health, physical fitness and diet. With the advent of video and TV streaming services, a good broadband connection will, therefore, enable teens to improve their capacity to harvest and harness information. Since we are living in the information age, this will go a long way to transform them into kind of youth and adult that the future requires.

The choice of the video streaming service like Amazon Prime Video or Netflix is important because research shows that teens enjoy listening to music and watching TV more than other online services. Playing games and watching videos comes in the second rank way above the social media.

With Amazon Prime Videos, for instance, you can expose your teens to audio e-books that can shape their character and give them the guidance they need in making informed decisions. Teens need to be assisted in understanding how they can excel in school, built a good relationship with their parents, understand sex issues, making good friends and boost their self-esteem. This way you can help your teen to not only overcome the challenges they face but also go on to become successful teenagers and beyond. This is just one way you can use the same media the teens like to teach them. The bottom line is that broadband choices you make can make a bright future for your teen or can also blur the same.



Back