Adults dominate Net

More adults are going online more often than teens, even during summer vacation, when kids have a lot more free time to surf the Net.

Adults use the Internet an average of 837 minutes each month, while teenagers spend an average of 264 minutes online monthly, according to research firm Jupiter Media Metrix Inc..

"That [higher adult use] was the most surprising thing," says Jared Blank, a Jupiter Media Metrix analyst. "I also expected a very big jump in usage during the summer for teens. I expected a huge jump, and that really just wasn't the case."

The analyst says on-the-job use of computers is one reason adults rack up more than triple the amount of teen Internet time.

"Adults use the computer at work, and that makes up for some of the difference," he says. "It may seem a little simple, but I don't think teens use it [the Internet] as much as is rumored, or as much as you may think. Yes, they are sitting at computers, but they are using Nintendo or PlayStation and playing games."

Between April 2000 and April 2001 the adult online population jumped 18 percent to 712 million users, the research firm reports. The teen population grew 11 percent, reaching 9 million.

Buying offline

Many of those youngsters are going online to communicate, play games, and window shop, but they aren't there to buy.

The Jupiter Media Metrix research says 89 percent of teens under the age of 17 have never made an online purchase. Nearly a third of teens (29 percent) investigate products on the Internet before buying them at brick-and-mortar stores.

The big reason for that offline bias: most teenagers don't have a credit card, according to Blank.

"That's the assumption, that teens would certainly purchase more if they had the ability to do that," Blank says. "They are perfectly willing to buy in the offline world. They have no problem going to the Gap and buying a shirt for themselves."

There are youth-oriented online payment systems such as Rocket Cash, and special teen cards such as Visa Buxx, which looks like a credit card but is actually a "stored value" card that requires an up-front deposit.

"Those haven't taken off much yet," says Blank. "But the P2P [peer-to-peer] market took awhile to catch on until PayPal came along. It's just a matter of time."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Frank Thorsberg

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?