RealTime IT News

Brit Teens Out-Surf the Western World

[London, ENGLAND] According to a report from ad agency Young & Rubicam, published Friday, British teenagers make more use of the Internet than their counterparts in the rest of Europe and the United States.

The survey found that 57 percent of young people aged 7-16 in the U.K. were already online, while the number of teenage shoppers is set to rise from 1.9 million in 1999 to 5.9 million in 2002.

However, more than half of Britain's teenage surfers (54.8 percent) believe the the Internet is "too American." Oddly enough, 28.6 percent of Americans agree with them.

"Way, way, way too much advertising on every Web page," one teenager is quoted as saying.

"All the best sites are American, and lots of them assume that everyone who goes to the site is from America," says another.

Despite adverse comments about the Web's American flavor (flavour!) however, teens in the U.K. clearly have a lot more in common with those in the U.S. than with teens in Continental Europe.

The survey reports that 71.2 percent of U.K. teens and 78.6 percent of U.S. teens said the Internet has "greatly affected the way they shop." By contrast, only 44.4 percent of teens in Continental Europe made the same admission.

In what is quite a complex and wide-ranging survey, British teens are described as having a high opinion of Internet users, referring to them as "clever", "friendly", "cool", "trendy", and "rich".

In the 15-34 age group, Britons were revealed as being twice as likely as those in the older, 35-54 age group to want to take part directly in the Internet industry.

The survey even covers the Internet's impact on language, noting how new types of shorthand have appeared among younger users. In particular it mentions the huge craze for text messaging on mobile devices in the U.K., where users sent an estimated 500 million messages to each other between January 1999 and May 2000.

Ownership of mobile phones among British youths in the 11-16 age group currently stands at 25 percent -- nearly 1 million users.

The survey may be purchased online from The Intelligence Factory, the knowledge and futuring company in the Y&R Group.