Europe's Internet kids like to keep it real

Mon Jan 11, 2010 1:44pm EST
 
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By Alexander Clare

LONDON (Reuters) - They've never known a world without the Internet, but they still prefer to meet their friends offline.

A new survey of eight to 14-year-old Europeans by U.S. entertainment, film and theme park company Walt Disney Co showed that the children of Generation X are web-savvy, videogame-playing environmentalists who love their parents.

The survey of 3,020 children across Europe -- who Disney has dubbed "Generation XD" -- said they embraced cutting-edge technology and traditional family values at the same time, using the Internet as a toy and a tool for homework.

"Generation XD kids have a heightened understanding of socio-economic issues, deep family values and are already demonstrating behavioral patterns that will have a deep impact on the future," Executive Director of EMEA Research for Disney Channels Victoria Hardy said in an emailed statement containing the survey's results.

Despite the prevalence and popularity of social networking sites like Facebook, almost a third of respondents said that they preferred to meet friends face-to-face, although 44 percent said the internet made it easier to keep in touch with them.

More than seven in 10 children said their most common use of the Internet was for gaming, while 59 percent said that they used the worldwide web in the course of doing their homework.

The youngsters from Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Poland also expressed a strong sense of social responsibility, with 90 percent saying it was important to look after the planet, and 74 percent saying they recycled regularly.

Traditional values shone through with 70 percent of respondents saying that saving pocket money was important to them and that the people they most admired were their parents.   Continued...

 
<p>A Twitter page is displayed on a laptop computer in Los Angeles October 13, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>