Teenagers’ inventive uses for technology can be insightful for older users, partly because they do not have adults’ assumptions about how products are supposed to function. “I will just throw away the directions and see what I can make of it,” notes one adolescent. Having a smartphone means many teens can be more or less constantly online, which transforms how they keep in touch with friends and express themselves. Several practices applied by teens could change how we use technology, and one of these habits is the infrequent use of email for communication, apart from for official business. One teen prefers using a fragmented set of messaging apps based on the people he wishes to communicate with, and tools such as Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, and others are advantageous because they eliminate the formalities of email and more efficiently manage conversations. Another key tech trend among teens is expression via imagery such as photos and videos, which can make communications faster than written messaging. Another lesson from teens’ tech habits is the ability to maintain a public presence while keeping sensitive information away from prying eyes, because many assume surveillance is a given. Disappearing-message apps and subtweeting are examples of this practice. Teens also often gather on special servers to form niche communities designed to keep undesirable elements out, while their innate knowledge of tech often encourages them to tinker and experiment with tools rather than submit to the limitations of strict instructions. | Read More