Fear the younger siblings of those at Gezi

Fear the younger siblings of those at Gezi

FATOŞ KARAHASAN fatos.karahasan@milliyet.com.tr
On June 8, 2013, a total of 1,127,000 of our children took the SBS exam. These children, who were born after 1998, are the siblings of the high school and university students that Turkey has got to know through the Gezi Park resistance. They were born into a life with the Internet. They played their first games on the computer. They did their homework with the help of the Internet. They talked to their friends through Skype. They communicate through Facebook. They are 14 but they know the world pretty well. These siblings who are very active will soon start high school. They will make life harder for our politicians who have a habit of complaining about social media at every opportunity.

Social media guide for politicians

For the new generation, a life without mobile phones and social media is out of the question. They have transferred all their lives into the digital world. They read, watch and listen at the same time. On the other hand, they tag, share and interpret material they like or don’t like. They consider it a normal part of life to take their own photographs and videos, to share every material they produce. In a world where every young person has a potential to be a journalist, artist and politician, nothing will be like it used to be now. As Rumi said, “Yesterday was gone with yesterday, my dearest… Today, new things should be said.”

6.2 million kids on the Internet

According to an Ipsos KMG’s Internet Penetration survey conducted in January 2012, more than 6.2 million kids have Internet access in our country. Between the ages of 4 and 14, young people from the ABC1C2 socio-economic groups use the Internet at a rate of 72 percent. Out of these kids, 73 percent have a computer at home, 58 percent have an Internet connection at home and 25 percent have cell phones.

Facebook sociality

According to Ipsos KMG data from the Survey on Children’s Media Consumption and Life Styles (January 2011), one in five children in Turkey is on Facebook. In other words, we have 3.4 million Facebook members who are children between the ages of 4 and 14. In this age group, Facebook tops the list of websites they visit. The video-sharing site YouTube is number six and Twitter is number 11. Children now have more money to spend. In our country, the pocket money economy in our country is growing. Children also have an active role in their family’s purchasing decisions.

Young Turkey in figures

According to the Akademetre survey done for the technology giant Intel in 26 provinces with 3,000 young people between the ages 13 and 29, the results of the Intel Young Turkey Survey 2012 are as follows:

- 71.4 percent of homes have a computer.

- In low-income households, 16 percent have smart phones.

- In the rural segment, two out of five young people have regular access to the Internet.

- Regular Internet access is highest in İzmir at 80 percent.

- The lowest is in Van at 16 percent.

- One in four young people shop over the Internet.

- Two in three young people (67 percent) say they would not give up their computer for other devices.

- They say, “I can give up my boyfriend/girlfriend, vacation or shopping but I will not give up my mobile device.”

- Two-thirds say computers help socialize the youth.

- 53.9 percent of the youth consider those who do not use technological devices to be backwards in the contemporary era.

- Young people spend 5.5 hours on the computer every day.

- 8 percent go online in the morning after waking up, even before going to the washroom.
- They spend an average of 53.5 minutes on social networks.

Fatoş Harahasan is a columnist for daily Milliyet in which this piece was published on June 10. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.