Morgan Stanley teen intern on peers’ media use

Though Morgan Stanley says its report by 15-year-old intern Matthew Robson on his friends’ media habits got “five or six times more feedback” than its European media team’s usual reports, the investment banking firm “made no claims for [the report's] statistical rigour,” the Financial Times reports. It did offer clear, “thought-provoking insights” to all the hedge fund managers and CEOs who the FT said called and emailed Morgan Stanley the day of the report’s release, but I’m not sure any of the young Londoner’s observations would surprise my readers. Robson “confirmed” that teens don’t use Twitter (though we’ve seen one created a Twitter worm to test its security – see this); don’t watch much TV or listen to much radio, preferring music-focused social sites such as Last.fm; “find advertising ‘extremely annoying and pointless’; and, as in newspapers, “‘cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text’” instead of “summaries online or on television.” What is interesting in the report is that – at least in the London area – teens’ “time and money is spent on cinema, concerts and video game consoles which, [Robson] said, now double as a more attractive vehicle for chatting with friends than the phone.” Sounds like he’s talking about Xbox Live and other gaming communities (e.g., those within and associated with virtual worlds and massively multiplayer online games such as World of Warcraft, maybe). Is that an early warning for mobile phone operators and an indicator for parents that the texting wave may crest at some point?

Meanwhile, here’s a US 16-year-old’s POV on why teens aren’t taken with Twitter. Basically, he suggests they’re less in control of who sees their updates in Twitter (I don’t think he knows that you can make your Twitter profile private). For Twitter privacy, go into “Account” under “Settings” in the upper right-hand corner of your home page and click “protect my updates” at the bottom of the page so that only people you approve can see them; then click “Save” at the very bottom.

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