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Five Ways Teens Use Tech Differently Than Adults

By Kevin Beerman / December 17, 2019
CHICAGO IDEAS YOUTH PERSPECTIVES IS A NEW CONTENT SERIES, PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE SUSAN CROWN EXCHANGE, THAT AMPLIFIES THE VOICES OF OUR YOUTH AMBASSADORS AND GIVES THEM A PLATFORM TO SHARE THEIR IDEAS. 

As the years go by, technology is becoming more advanced. There are a number of ways for adults as well as teens to use this technology, whether it be for educational purposes or simple entertainment. However, with the differences between these generations come different ways of using that technology. Here are some ways that I notice how I personally use technology differently than an adult. 

YouTube

I think this is the biggest difference between myself and adults. I don’t really watch YouTube for how-to videos or for something handy. I’ve seen a lot of adults who use YouTube to watch these kinds of videos to learn how to to something. I usually watch Dr. Phil, or listen to scary stories. I use it more for entertainment purposes rather than educational purposes. 

Instagram

I am on Instagram at least once a day. Whether it be the moment I wake up or go to bed, or just relaxing eating a bag of chips. I usually use Instagram to follow my interests. I follow people like Shaun King or Shane Dawson (I even have my notifications on when they make a new post). If I’m not trying to keep up with their lives then I’m usually watching makeup and hair videos. Instagram also has very funny videos that never fail to make me laugh (I guess we all do this, though). 

Calling

Usually when you are a teen, you really don’t have to make any important phone calls. The only important phone calls I have is if I want to call a pizza guy. Therefore, all of my calls are to my friends just to waste up to 2-3 hours on (good thing for unlimited calls). I hear adults on the phone talking about their jobs and to important people. It’s all very serious. 

Safari or Google Chrome

This might be one of the few places I use tech like adults I know. I feel as if I am the only teen that checks their email very, very often. I usually check my email hourly on Safari to see any updates on jobs, weather updates, or emails from colleges and universities. I also get deals with Old Navy and Pizza Hut. I also use Safari to look on Pinterest for ideas for art or on decoration ideas. I also look on my school calendar a lot to look at upcoming events. Very grown up stuff. 

Facebook

Usually when I go on Facebook, I see updates from my family’s lives. Since I do not live close to my father’s side of the family I usually use Facebook to keep up. I see lots of ads on what kind of clothes I like or from Universities. I also watch 3-5 minutes videos of comedians like Jo Koy or listen to poets. I usually am on Facebook 80% of the time. Lately I have been using Facebook to keep up with updates from my University to see what I need to do to get ready in the fall!

All in all, the differences between how I use tech and how adults do may not seem that much different, but that’s just because of how we spend our time. Even as I finish high school, I have a lot more free time on my hands, fewer responsibilities, fewer preoccupations. This changes the way I do tech. It might really just come back down to age in the end, after all.