more teens have used IM for HOMEWORK than for dating

So then why do some libraries block IM? And why aren’t more libraries available via IM?

Take a look at the press release for the AP-AOL Instant Messaging Trends Survey. The first pullout is amazing! The survey also states that teens are most likely multitasking when they’re IMming by researching homework assignments online.

These will come in handy if you’re trying to start an IM project at your library and need to present stats to the stat driven administrator.

More than half (55 percent) of teen IM users have used instant messaging to get help with their homework. This is a 17 percent increase over last year. Meanwhile, 22 percent of teens say they have sent an IM to ask for or accept a date.

-Forty-three percent of teen IM users say they have used instant messaging to say something they would not say to someone in person. Teenage girls are more likely than boys to do so. Nearly half of teenage girls surveyed have used instant messaging to say something they would not say in person, compared with just over a third of teenage boys.

-Teens today are more likely to upload photos (42 percent in 2007 vs. 34 percent in 2006) while instant messaging. They are less likely to conduct online research for school (57 percent vs. 63 percent) or update their blog or social profile (33 percent vs. 42 percent) while sending IMs.

-Nearly three in four teens (70 percent) and one in four adults (24 percent) send more instant messages than emails.

-Multi-tasking remains very popular, as IM users tend to engage in multiple online activities while sending instant messages. Checking email is the most popular activity among eight in ten adult and teen IM users. After email, adult IM users most often conduct online searches (49 percent), while teens say they like to research homework assignments online (57 percent).

– Nearly four in five (79 percent) at-work IM users say they have used instant messaging in the office to take care of personal matters. One in five (19 percent) IM users say they send more instant messages than emails to their co-workers and colleagues.


3 thoughts on “more teens have used IM for HOMEWORK than for dating”

  1. Thanks for this article and for the great statistics about IM and teens. At the Park Ridge Public Library we have been offering IM for Young Adults (middle school and high school) since June 2007, and have had wonderful results. We average 25-30 IM sessions per month, are able to communicate with teen patrons about research projects, homework assignments, programming, questions about life and school, and more. About a dozen students have added us to their personal buddy lists and write in with questions once a week or so. One of the most successful aspects of our service is the Meebo widget we placed on our web site. Through the widget, teens can IM us without having to log in to a system and without having to share the same IM system. Because of limited staffing, we have so far only been able to offer teen IM service during after school hours (3:00 – 5:00 p.m.), but we also offer a Reference IM service all of the hours we are open, and try to steer teens toward that during off hours.

Leave a Reply