Cyber Youth

Through some winded path of reference I found a recent study comparing the online behaviour of Chinese and American youth. Henry Jenkins gives a useful summary of some its findings:

  • Almost five times as many Chinese as American respondents said they have a parallel life online (61 percent vs. 13 percent).
  • More than twice as many Chinese respondents agreed that “I have experimented with how I present myself online” (69 percent vs. 28 percent of Americans).
  • More than half the Chinese sample (51 percent) said they have adopted a completely different persona in some of their online interactions, compared with only 17 percent of Americans.
  • Fewer than a third of Americans (30 percent) said the Internet helps their social life, but more than three-quarters of Chinese respondents (77 percent) agreed that “The Internet helps me make friends.”
  • Chinese respondents were also more likely than Americans to say they have expressed personal opinions or written about themselves online (72 percent vs. 56 percent). And they have expressed themselves more strongly online than they generally do in person (52 percent vs. 43 percent of Americans).

Compare further with this highly interesting and helpful CC-licensed 100-page summary of a $3,000 report on Tencent’s QQ, one of the staggering success stories in Chinese Internet business. (Page 23 is an echo of this line of thought.)

(Via ChinaVortex, among others)