The world's online youth would rather live without TV than live without the Internet

A comprehensive survey in 12 countries of more than 7,600 young people between the ages of 16 - 29 shows that 77% of today's online youth would sooner live without television than live without the Internet. China has the most devoted young Internet users, with 87% choosing the Internet compared to 13% favoring television. In the United States the figures were 77% for the Internet and 23% for TV.

The survey was conducted by New Paradigm, the Toronto-based think-tank headed by business strategist and best-selling author Don Tapscott. The survey is part of a $4 million study of today's digital-savvy youth - dubbed the "Net Generation" by Tapscott - who have grown up "bathed in bits."

Other survey findings included:

  • When asked to choose whether they want to be smarter or better looking, 69% of the world's N-Geners choose being smarter.
  • When evaluating a potential employer, 88% of N-Geners in China say a company's prestige is important. This figure drops to 83% in India, 72% in Russia, and 51% in the US.
  • 56% of the world's online youth would prefer to make the world a better place than to improve their local community.
  • 73% of the N-Gen globally say that if a company makes untrue promises in its advertising, they will tell their friends not to buy its products.
  • 52% say that teens and young adults are portrayed too negatively in today's media.

Commenting on why so many N-Geners choose the Internet over TV, Tapscott said that television is unidirectional and passive, and doesn't allow meaningful participation by the viewer. In contrast, the Internet enables users to find and share information and take action.

"Look at Live Earth concerts," said Tapscott. "More than 10,000 'Friends of Live Earth' events were pulled together in 130 countries. People around the world could go online for background materials, event guidelines, suggestions for running a green event, advice on how to receive a concert satellite feed, and updates when additional materials such as short films became available. Television can't do these sorts of things.

"Rich multi-media sites such as and Al Gore's show how the Net Generation can employ digital tools to make a difference. While high-profile media events like the Live Earth concerts help raise awareness, the global warming battle will be won in the trenches of the Internet."

About the New Paradigm Global Net Generation Survey

This survey was conducted online between April 5 and May 3, 2007 among 7,692 respondents in 12 countries (U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, China, Japan, and India). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and region were weighted where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are often not possible to quantify or estimate. With a pure probability sample of 7,692 respondents one could say with 95% probability that overall results would have a sampling error of +/- 1.1 percentage points. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error may be calculated.

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