Three out of four teenagers in Northern Ireland and the Republic are worried about jobs, the economy and climate change, according to a new survey.
Carried out through social networking site Bebo as part of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition, the research showed that society’s major problems are also the biggest concerns for 73% of young people.
As well as concerns for the future the survey also highlighted the important of technology and science to the younger generation, with a massive 73% of the 128 people interviewed saying that staying connected via mobile phones, broadband and computers was essential to their lives. Surprisingly only 2% chose computer games as a must-have technological invention.
However, 84% of respondents — who had an average age of 16 — are using at least one of the social networking sites Bebo, Facebook, Twitter, with Bebo is the most popular.
Chris Clark, CEO of BT in Ireland said: “We undertook this research to better understand the issues facing teenagers and also to find out about their experiences of the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition. The results demonstrate a real understanding of the difficulties facing our economy today.”
“Young people are our greatest resource and if we want to take advantage of the global upturn when it eventually comes we must nurture young minds as they are the future of our economy. A high-value, smart economy where the skills, innovation and creativity of our children will help Ireland become a leading location for business in the future.”
The BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition showcases inventions that have the potential to benefit society, such as a computer game that could help combat school bullies and an “ergonomic schoolbag” that can improve posture.
The business world is increasingly taking note of the views of teenagers and young people as they develop new technology and products. Earlier this week 15-year-old Matthew Robson from London caused a stir when his report on how teenagers use technology and the media was published by finance giant Morgan Stanley.
He said teenagers are “very reluctant” to pay to download music from the internet, would rather buy pirate DVDs than pay the full cost of a cinema ticket and don’t read newspapers other freesheets and tabloids.
The report also said teenagers are watching less television — preferring catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer — rarely listened to radio and do not use Twitter because sending updates from a mobile uses calling credit.