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This was a breath of fresh air. Two bright, articulate teenagers giving real insight into how they use the web. These are those ‘digital natives’ we hear so much about, although they don’t want to be called part of the ‘MySpace Generation’ or part of ‘Generation Y’.
– Dot is 18 first used a computer aged 3 or 4. She doesn’t have a MySpace page because “it’s easy to hate MySpace. It looks horrible, and there’s the potential to give away all your information”. She also said friends of hers had lost out on jobs because potential employers had checked out the MySpace pages of applicants and turned them down. (This is anecdotal, but interesting nonetheless…). She doesn’t like the “popularity game” of the comments and friends counter on MySpace pages. “There are other better at putting together things you’re actually interested in, and they can spell,” she said, mentioning LiveJournal.
Rory is 19 and does have a MySpace page – he likes it because he’s a music nut, although he does say the interface is clunky and not that easy to use. He found it through word of mouth and reckons 80 per cent of his friends have a MySpace profile. He thinks he’ll keep his profile for six months and then delete it as he “doesn’t want it taking over his life”.
– This got interesting – both said they rely on their mobile phones 24/7, use the Internet for several hours every day both for entertainment and communication, and rarely watch TV. They both said they download programmes from the web – which immediately made me ask what, exactly, when only a few programs are legally available online. So how much of the content they download online is illegal? Without any hesitation they both said 100 per cent. And what could content producers do to make legal downloads more attractive? “Make it available and make it easy. If what I wanted was available, I wouldn’t mind paying for it but it’s not, so I have to get it illegally,” said Dot. They both said they’d pay up to about
This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.