Although teens and college students use the Internet in similar ways, this post will look at some of the specific differences. I will then compare some basic Internet activities across teens, college students, and older users.

Teens (13-17)

The chart below shows that Facebook, Google, and YouTube are the top three for both male and female teens, although in a slightly different order. But notice that the rest of the top ten include some interesting differences for teen boys and girls.


College Students (18-24)

Comparing the chart below with the chart above, you will see that college girls have a lot in common with teen girls, however college boys are not that similar to teen boys when it comes to specific sites they favor. College girls have 6 sites in common with the teen girls, but college boys only have 4 sites in common with teen boys. In other words, girls (more than boys) tend to engage with pretty much the same sites as they move from the teen years to college.

For girls, the commonalities are social sites, search, gossip, portals, and shopping. For boys, the common site types are video, social, search, portals, and sports. Notably, boys’ interest in gaming sites seems to drop off signifantly once they reach college.


Online Activities Across all Ages

The chart below shows that across all ages, virtually everyone who is online will send or read e-mail. However, other activities are vastly more popular among younger people than older generations.


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