This digital age has radically reshaped many of us. One of the biggest catalysts for this change is social media platforms, which have taken different generations by storm. But as well as serving as a form of entertainment, they are now seen as ‘sources of information’ by British teenagers, according to a report of the Office of Communications (Ofcom) in the United Kingdom.
Ofcom’s report claims that “teenagers in the UK are turning away from traditional news channels and instead turning to Instagram, TikTok and YouTube to keep up to date”. In its report, Instagram leads the race as the most popular news source of 2022 among said demographic with a percentage of 29%. It is followed by TikTok and YouTube at 28%. Surprisingly, BBC One and BBC Two, which are legitimate traditional news sources, rank fifth with 24% teenage users in 2022. According to Ofcom, its teenage users have declined after five years, while he owned 45% of the british teenager. online users.
“Teenagers today are less and less likely to read a newspaper or watch TV news, preferring instead to stay up to date by browsing their social feeds,” said Yih-Chung Teh, Ofcom Group Director for strategy and research. “And while young people find information on social media less trustworthy, they value these services more for providing a range of opinions on today’s hot topics.”
Ofcom also shared that from 0.8 million adult TikTok users in the UK in 2020, the number has risen to 3.9 million, representing 7% of the age group. On a positive note, Ofcom pointed out that 71% of the population regard television as the most trusted source of information. YouTube and Twitter, on the other hand, reportedly offer trustworthy reporting to 51% and 52% of teens, respectively. Thirty percent of teens in the report, meanwhile, trust TikTok with its news content.
The completeness of the report is no longer a surprise since Microsoft itself also stated in one of its reports that some small business owners who participated in their study believe that TikTok is now their educational platform of choice. “Historically, earning a college degree was considered a rite of passage, an achievement expected and desired by previous generations,” Microsoft said. “Gen Z, however, believe there are other avenues possible to achieve their goals. Seventy-eight percent of Gen Z small business owners say getting a university education to run their own business.
This should come as no surprise to us now since more and more of us, regardless of generation, consider the internet part of our daily lives. Even corporations and businesses are now embracing this digital revolution: newspaper companies are focusing more on online subscriptions, book authors are turning to offering digital literary copies of their works, outdated DVD stores are being replaced through live subscription services, stores establish their online presence, and more. However, viewing social media platforms as an information resource despite their reputation as one of the breeding grounds for misinformation is something to ponder.