It seems like teens always know what's up. They are always one step ahead of adults with their knowledge of the latest Internet lingo and the most obscure up-and-coming artists. And a new Pew Research Center study reveals teens are leading the way in one more way: smartphone usage.
The study, which is part of a series of reports about teens and technology, involved a national survey of 802 youth ages 12-17 and their parents.
Unsurprisingly, the study found that most teens-- 78 percent-- have cell phones, with almost half of them using fancy smartphones. According to the study, 37 percent of youth used smartphones in 2012, an increase from 23 percent of youth using smartphones in 2011.
Researchers found that 74 percent of teens use cell phones, tablets and mobile devices to use the Internet. Similarly, 74 percent of adults aged 18 to 49 use mobile technology to access the Internet.
What is surprising, though, is how much this on-the-go generation relies on cell phones for mobile access.
The study found that about 25 percent of teens use cellphones as the primary source of Internet access. Cell-mostly Internet usage was even higher-- a whooping 50 percent-- for smartphone holders. In comparison, only 15 percent of adults were cell-mostly Internet users.
It's clear that kids these days are more tech-savvy than ever. Their use of smartphones and mobile internet devices emphasize the changing technological landscapes. In a press release for the study, Mary Madden, Senior Researcher for the Pew Research Center's Internet Project and co-author of the report said:
"The nature of teens' internet use has transformed dramatically -- from stationary connections tied to shared desktops in the home to always-on connections that move with them throughout the day...In many ways, teens represent the leading edge of mobile connectivity, and the patterns of their technology use often signal future changes in the adult population."