New Delhi: Harnessing the power of Internet, about 75 percent of India's youth prefers social media over phone calls to communicate, with more students using the Net for school-related tasks, says a TCS survey.
The findings, a part of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Gen-Y survey 2012-13, reveal that today's youth are collaborating through social networking tools and building virtual communities aided by affordable bandwidth and smart devices.
The exhaustive study by India's largest software services exporter covered nearly 17,500 high-school students across 14 Indian cities and claimed to have conducted the first such survey in India.
"India's post-millennial generation, those people born in 1996 and afterwards, seem set to overtake the preceding millennial generation, taking communication over social networks like Facebook and Twitter and instant messaging modes like Whatsapp to newer extremes," TCS said.
Nearly three out of four students cited "Research for School" as the main reason to access the Internet followed by social reasons like chatting and connecting with friends (62 percent), it added.
The survey said the urban post-millennial generation is increasingly turning to text and chat as alternatives to voice.
"Seventy four percent of those surveyed said they use Facebook the most to communicate while 54 percent conceded to use SMS, both significantly higher than the number of students who said they use voice calls (44 percent) for the same purpose," it added.
"Urban school students today are gaining greater online access with more affordable bandwidth and smart devices on offer. They are an ultra-connected generation using the power of the Internet for education as well as collaborating through social networks and building virtual communities," TCS Chief Executive N Chandrasekaran said.
The survey findings revealed that social networks like Facebook, Twitter are the primary and clear favourites among today's youth to connect with their peers with 92 percent of the respondents preferring Facebook.
"Interestingly, preference for Facebook is equally high among respondents in both metros (92 percent) and mini-metros (91 percent)," it added.
Seventy four percent of the respondents said that they prefer social platforms to communicate instead of calls and mails.
Besides, the youth have graduated to utilising the full potential of smartphones and almost 70 percent of the students surveyed carry a handset.
"Nearly seven out of every 10 high-school students own mobile phones and nearly 20 percent of them have access to the Internet," it said.
Another revelation is that non-metros are not far behind the metros in the usage of smartphones among the youth.
"Nearly, six out of 10 post-millennial respondents own a smartphone, but what is remarkable is the fact that the difference in ownership patterns between metros (58.50 percent) and mini metros (59.36 percent) isn't much, with smaller cities scoring over the larger ones," the survey said.
Also mobiles (18.17 percent) are the fastest growing mediums for accessing the Internet among post-millennials, at the expense of home (72.03 percent against 84.29 percent last year), school (14.41 percent against 22.08 percent a year ago) and cyber cafes (13.57 percent against 20.54 percent last year), the survey said.
Not only do post-millennials know what they want, but they also are clear about how to shop for it. Four out of 10 respondents shop online now while one in four respondents buys clothes and accessories online.
Respondents from mini metros shop online more than their peers in metros for movie tickets, books, DVDs and airline/ train tickets, but respondents in metros are more fashion conscious, shopping more for clothes and accessories.
And when it comes to career, today's youth seem to be more focused than their predecessors.
"The Post-Millennial generation is far more conscious than their predecessors before. They seem to clear about what they would look for in a future job," the survey report said.
IT remains the top career preference amongst youngsters followed by engineering and medicine. Media and entertainment is emerging as a clear favourite amongst urban youth, but the biggest gainer has been banking and financial services, it added.
The survey was conducted from July to December 2012 during the nationwide TCS IT Wiz programme, and covered Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Kochi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune.
First Published: Sunday, June 16, 2013, 14:26