New research from Sky shows digital divide between Irish teens and their parents

The research gives some interesting insights into how Irish teens and their parents use the internet

Maeve McLaughlin
by Maeve McLaughlin on 7th September, 2016

New research commissioned by Sky has highlighted the digital gulf that exists between Irish teenagers and their parents, as well as shining a light on switching habits of Irish households.

How teenagers and their parents are using the internet

The survey found that 57% of teens are spending 3 hours or more online per day compared to just 27% of parents. In addition to this:

  • 49% of Irish teens cannot go for more than two hours without checking the internet, compared to 20% of Irish parents;
  • 46% of teenagers use the internet after school, compared to 34% of parents using it after work; and
  • 60% of teenagers use their smartphones most regularly to browse the internet with only 20% favouring a PC, while 40% of Irish parents are using smartphones and 39% are using PCs.

Teenagers’ top priority when arriving home from school is communicating with their friends via social media (40%), followed by gaming (23%) and then streaming their favourite music, TV shows, movies and YouTube videos online (21%). Only 15% in total said they research, read and shop online.

Parents also chose communicating (29%) as their top priority, but that’s where the similarities end, as 24% of parents are using the internet for research, and 21% like to read news articles and blogs.

Switching habits

Almost a quarter (23%) of parents surveyed have never switched broadband provider. Of those who haven’t switched in over two years, 54% said their reason for not doing so is they think they have the best deal already, whereas 23% say it’s too much effort. No-one surveyed said they switched broadband every year.

It’s important to note that most providers offer introductory deals for a maximum of 12 months, so in fact it’s likely that anyone who hasn’t switched in over two years could get a better deal. And it’s actually really quick and easy to compare deals and make a switch.

Just be careful to check the minimum term on your current contract before you make a move, as if you leave within this term, you’ll probably have to pay some early exit fees.

Interestingly, the research shows that 1 in 4 teenagers influence the provider decisions in their household, particularly in relation to broadband, so it might be worth checking with them if you’re thinking of making a switch!

Social media habits

Parents’ top social media choice is Facebook with 80% choosing to do their social networking there. There are very few parents using Snapchat, with only 1% of our survey group saying they use it. This is compared to a whopping 41% of teenagers using the app every day.

Facebook is joint top for teenagers, showing that the whole family can be found on that social networking platform.

Reliance on technology and broadband

This research shows that the reliance on technology and broadband is definitely growing.

Most commonly, teenagers are now choosing their own personal smartphones to browse the internet, rather than using shared family devices. Parents also favour smartphones, with 40% saying its their device of choice for accessing the internet.

And both half of teenagers and half of adults surveyed feel it’s extremely important to have their broadband connected to their TV for watching on demand TV content, which really shows how our viewing habits are evolving.

Overall, the research makes for an interesting read. Sky has released the findings to coincide with switching season, and some new offers that are available until the 13th of October.

Thinking of making a switch? See what broadband packages are available in your area