Geneva, 28 February 2011
The Internet and mobile phones are an indispensable part of daily life for young people. But how do they use digital media? The answer to this, and other questions, is contained in the representative JAMES study.
The study illustrates that the Internet and mobile phones are now used far more frequently than television. Mobile phones occupy first place in terms of media use amongst young people in Switzerland, followed in second place by the use of Internet services and then (in decreasing order) MP3 players, television, music CDs, radio, daily newspapers and computer and video games. Computer and video games are used more frequently by boys than girls. However, popularity of the media does vary greatly from one language region to another. For example, computer games are used significantly more in French- and Italian-speaking Switzerland (41%) than in German-speaking Switzerland (29%). It is precisely the language-based regional differences which throw up some surprises, revealing that talk of a single "Swiss" media use is scarcely possible.
As part of the study data were also collected about the kind of information young people disclose about themselves on the Internet. On social network sites such as Facebook more often than not they specify gender even before giving their real name. More than 80% of the young people questioned publish photos or videos of themselves. The older they are, the more personal information they disclose.
Youth media protection is a key concern of Swisscom as part of its sustainable corporate strategy. Since 2001 the company has connected more than 6,000 Swiss schools to the Internet free of charge and is committed to the safe use of digital media by children and young people. Swisscom is sponsoring the JAMES study in association with ZHAW.