Far from plunging teenagers into a seedy world of depravity, it seems that tech is turning our young people into Generation Sensible
If you’re over a certain age, there’s a good chance that you’ve recently groused about the ubiquitous nature of the mobile phone. Whether it’s complaints about people walking down the street with their eyes glued to their screen or the lack of quality family time with tech-obsessed children, the online world has some very vocal critics.
However, it seems that fears about cyber dating, pornography and the shadier corners of the Internet turning our teenagers into disengaged terrors could have proved unfounded. Research by the British Pregnancy Advisory Service has found that the Worldwide Web could actually be contributing to a more thoughtful, less reckless attitude among British adolescents.
Their survey of 1,000 16 to 18-year-olds revealed that teenagers are more likely to be focused on their families, friends and educations than expected. Young people are now drinking less and having less sex, with future career dreams being prioritised over the risk of getting pregnant at a young age.
The Service confirms that there has been a sharp fall in the number of teenage pregnancies since 2007. The fact that the surveyed teens spent up to five hours a day online, for non-work or study-related reasons, could be illuminating. Less than a quarter said they spoke to their friends in person as often as they chatted remotely and it appears that teenage romance is increasingly moving online – with less action ‘in the flesh’, so to speak.
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