Smartphones encouraging use of social media and computer games

Jun 28, 2012, 18:07 IST | ANI

Smartphones have increased the use of social media and computer games, particularly among young people, according to a recent survey

Each year, Nordicom at Gothenburg University carries out a nationally representative survey of media use among the Swedish people.

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The results of the most recent survey presented by media Barometer 2011 (Mediebarometern 2011) revealed that over 60 per cent of Swedish young people today have a smartphone, and in addition to telephoning and messaging, they use them to communicate via social media and e-mail, and to play games.

Smartphones have contributed to an already notable increase in the use of computer games, particularly among young people, said Professor Ulla Carlsson.

Online game-playing has more than doubled during the past year alone. Sixty per cent of 9- to 14-year-olds play one or more computer or video games the average day – action and adventure themes predominate.

Smartphones are also used to keep up on the news. As a consequence of more differentiated media use, news listening and watching via traditional media have shown a slight decline in recent years, particularly among young people.

That decline appears to have levelled off now. Most owners of smartphones choose to follow the news in web editions of daily newspapers.

Nearly 90 per cent of Swedish young people, aged 15 to 24, use one or more social media the average day, which is a considerably greater share than those who watch television (75 percent). This pattern is quite different from media behaviour in other age groups, where television viewing is much more common.

Young people also spend much more time on internet than other age groups. Forty-three per cent report spending more than three hours on the web the average day, and 23 per cent spend more than five hours.

The most common activity is visiting and communicating in social networks like Facebook, followed by listening to music, watching video clips and listening to and/or reading blogs.

Most internet use is passive rather than active; few young people post their own videos (4 percent) or write their own blogs (9 percent). Considerably more, however, take part in social networks like Facebook (68 percent).

Use of social media is more extensive and is increasing more rapidly than use of traditional media on the web, although we do note a slight upward trend in the latter from year to year. Younger adults, 25 to 44 years, are the most frequent users of internet.

Nearly 50 per cent in this group partake of traditional media via the web. Internet also plays a key role in sustaining the audience reach of non-subscribed tabloids; every second tabloid reader reads the paper on the web. 

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