This year we wanted to do something to celebrate Teen Tech Week, but I feel that many of the students are far beyond my knowledge level. So the library staff decided to conduct an informal Teen Tech Week online survey to find out some trends. We received entries from about one third of the the local students in grades 7-12 and we had a sampling of some students from each grade level. While this of course was not a scientific endeavor, it did provide us with some insight into the possible future needs of our younger patrons. The results can be seen on our TEEN SERVICES page if you are interested.
Yesterday I was privileged to make a presentation to the Gregory Rotary Club (and they even provided for my lunch...thanks!). I shared some of the survey results with them and they were surprised that 85% of the students could access the internet through a mobile device which they owned. This varies greatly from the figures that we have for adults in our community. Of course, as I have stated, this was not a scientific study and the results could be skewed by several factors. But the responses to many of the survey questions indicated a strong use of social media by area students.
This can be great or, maybe, not so much. I overheard two of my teen board members recently arguing about one posting his friend's "goofy" picture on his Facebook page. The posting teen protested, "It's only going to be seen by my friends....." A great teachable moment. Hence we will continue to talk about social media safety, cyber-bullying and possible internet dangers in our Teen Advisory Board meetings. Some of the members have been reading "A Thousand Words" by Jennifer Brown, while our adult book club just finished reading "Reconstructing Amelia" by Kimberly McCreight. Both of these books are timely warnings of what can happen when people use social media irresponsibly. Great innovations...positive and negative uses, as always.
So enjoy your tech tools as I do, but beware of the dangers of posting EVERYTHING online to a listening world.