Teens prefer Facebook, Twitter to television?

Teens prefer Facebook, Twitter to television?

Summary: A new survey suggests that teenagers now prefer social media access to watching television.


A new study carried out by Click Consult has found that social media has overtaken television as the favourite pastime of UK teenagers.

A survey of 1300 people across the UK was carried out by Opinion Matters on behalf of the agency, and found that 65 percent of 16-24 year-olds rated social media as their favourite hobby, rather than watching television, reading or playing video games.

For those within the 25-34 year-old range, television and social media preferences were split fairly equally. The appeal of social networks appears to have permeated more than the younger generation, as 32 percent of those aged over 55 said that social media takes priority over their favourite television show.

TV was considered as a favoured leisure activity by 54 percent of 16-24 year olds, 44 percent preferred reading and 37 percent enjoyed playing video games. Exercise, however, was not a priority, as only 25 percent of those surveyed included it within their leisure activity range.

37 percent of 16-24 year olds  admitted they sometimes combine watching television and staying connected through social media at the same time. The survey also revealed that 6 percent of this age group spend over 8 hours a day on social media, in order to 'keep the conversation going'. One third choose to spend time on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks for up to three hours per day.

There doesn't seem to be any kind of line drawn on the places social media is accessed by the Generation Y, with respondents admitting to a variety of areas including hospital operating tables, while attending court and in sex shops.

Girls are more likely to spend additional time online communicating with their peers, as a 10 percent difference in those surveyed revealed.

"The social media revolution is not new, but for it to now take over from the nation's favourite pastime for the younger audience, truly indicates how quickly leisure habits are evolving in our digital age." said Matt Bullas, the managing director of Click Consult.

"We're not saying this is the death of TV, but we envisage seeing more multimedia opportunities being developed in partnership with TV to encourage cyber conversation, especially when you consider that 40 percent of the younger audience are on social media at the same time as watching TV.

We're already seeing Twitter feeds and hashtags regularly posted onto TV screens of our favourite shows and this will only get more integrated."

Television companies do seem to be aware of this rising trend -- with the increasing inclusion of television show streaming, QR code use, and continual mentions of Twitter and Facebook groups for deals or offers. Some companies are beginning to engage more closely with their viewers by creating interactive services, such as allowing surfers to exchange questions online for live debates or to play games online along with watching participants on a game show.


Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Social Enterprise

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  • RE: Teens prefer Facebook, Twitter to television?

    Why bother with television? You can get everything and more with a simple internet connection. I spend maybe an hour a week watching TV. I wouldn't even pay for the cable if there weren't other people living with me.
  • Why should they like TV...

    ...when there's so much useless junk on TV these days. If my cable had a limited package where I could choose the channels, I would be able to keep it under 20 channels total, and that's being generous. Usually Discovery channels and History are the only ones I watch anymore.
    • RE: Teens prefer Facebook, Twitter to television?

      agreed...and that is EXACTLY why the cable companies DO NOT offer a menu style option, for channel choices...bunch o' tools!
  • RE: Teens prefer Facebook, Twitter to television?

    you mean 1 is better than the other
  • RE: Teens prefer Facebook, Twitter to television?

    Hmm - 24 year old teenagers?
  • RE: Teens prefer Facebook, Twitter to television?

    Gee, teenagers prefer mindless blathering about themselves and their feelings than good TV drama and comedy. Hate to break it to everyone, but it's always been this way. Once they climb out of their self-obsessed hole and gain a few years, they'll find themselves once again interested in art and drama and other people's creativity.

    Facebook and Twitter are now extra tools to distract teenagers from the real world and prevent them from taking any part - bread and circuses. The main tool used to be just music ;-)
  • RE: Teens prefer Facebook, Twitter to television?

    So, what this study really says is nothing much has changed over the years.
  • RE: Teens prefer Facebook, Twitter to television?

    Television is available on the internet. Not only are people not watching television to the same degree (and not just teenagers), but with so many tv shows available online, why would you want to be enslaved by the broadcast schedule anyway? Add PVRs to the mix et voila! Instant change in viewing habits!
    Peter Malcolm