In this digital age, we have assumed that smartphones and apps are the new normal for youth.
A recently released Pew Research Center report on teens and technology further corroborates this belief by showing that 88% of US teens have access to a mobile phone. Of these, 73% have smartphones and 15% only a basic cell phone.
But it’s worth pausing to consider what online participation looks like for the 15% of teens with basic cell phones or the 12% who don’t have access to any form of mobile phone and what kind of a new “digital divide” might be emerging.
In other words, low-income teens are unable to participate in the social media conversations of their wealthier peers.
Our team at the University of California, Irvine, has been conducting research and developing programs in coding and digital media for these less-connected youth. The nationally representative sample in the Pew data provides context for these populations of urban teens who we work with day-to-day in Southern California.
Read the full story on the Conversation website.