From Kim Maisch:
ABC News.com October 11, 2010
Generation Y hit online pause button
YOUNG Australians are pressing the pause button in their busy online lives to take time out to read a book, go to a dinner party, catch a movie or visit an art gallery, according to a recent survey.
The study – Urban Market Research (UMR) – shows that the four million Australians aged between 16 and 30 are trying to balance the demands on their lives by turning to more simple pleasures.
But this doesn’t mean an exodus from the popular social media network site Facebook.
Youth specialist media and communications company Lifelounge Group, in conjunction with Sweeney Research, have found in their study that Facebook remains the number one site among young people with almost half of them (47 per cent) spending at least five hours each week online.
Lifelounge chief executive Dion Appel says today’s youth are looking for other outlets because they’re starting to experience digital overload.
“Pressing pause is not about switching off,” Mr Appel said.
“It’s about temporarily alleviating the pressure.
“The youth market has become a generation of digital multi-taskers and they’re starting to experience digital overload.”
Reading a book was the most popular offline past time with 56 per cent of people spending at least an hour each week with a good novel.
Dinner parties, the movies, art galleries and the theatre are also core elements for socialising.
Dr Cassie Govan, the co-author of the annual Urban Market Research study, says that while young people are taking a pause, falling behind isn’t an option.
“There’s an ever present undercurrent of anxiety around this fear of missing out or dropping off the pace,” Dr Govan said.
“We call this ‘exclusion anxiety’ and it’s a function of wanting to avoid feeling socially aloof or culturally detached.”
For the first time in seven years, the UMR found that music has been knocked off its perch as the number one defining pillar.
Young adults are now looking to their friends to validate who they are, what they consume and what’s important in life, reflecting the monumental power of peer networks.
Another feature the survey turned up was the rise of the cull – people shifting from having the most friends on Facebook to having the best friends.