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Gen Z hooked to smartphones, WhatsApp

Internet most useful for school work, finds Generation Z Survey of 12-18 year-olds.

June 03, 2017 10:00 pm | Updated December 03, 2021 05:04 pm IST

A TCS survey, one of the largest studies in the country that captured the digital habits of the 12-18 age group, reveals that the Young India knows how to put internet to constructive use.

A TCS survey, one of the largest studies in the country that captured the digital habits of the 12-18 age group, reveals that the Young India knows how to put internet to constructive use.

Indian students in the 12-18 age group consider smartphones to be most important gadget, use Facebook more than any other social media platform, and prefer WhatsApp to every other instant messenger.

These are among the findings of the ‘TCS Gen Z Survey,’ conducted by the Tata Consultancy Services. The aim was to “capture the changing trends of the youth across the nation with a focus on technology,” as the survey report puts it.

About 12,000 students across 15 cities were asked a slew of questions from what gadget they preferred to whether they want to become entrepreneurs. ‘Gen Z’ (the Generation Z) in the title is a reference to the 12-18 age group, “defined as the group born after 1995 – the current youth generation.”

While the smartphone is the most popular gadget, with 75% voting for it, laptops (67%) aren’t far behind. Tablets, e-book readers, gaming consoles, smart watch, and virtual reality headsets, follow in that order across the metros and the mini-metros. This order of importance differs for girls and boys, though, only on account of the former considering e-book readers to be more important than gaming consoles (39% to 15%) and the latter doing the reverse (voting 23% of e-book readers versus 33% for gaming consoles).

The students’ interest in Facebook, WhatsApp and the social media world not withstanding, the students consider the Internet to be of most use in doing school assignments. Messaging is a close second while shopping comes last on the list.


That, however, doesn’t mean students don’t shop online. A whopping 83% say they do. And how do they pay? A majority, 65%, take cash from their parents and pay on delivery. Another 38% use their pocket money and pay on delivery.

A fourth of those surveyed said they found social media to be a waste of time. This was revealed in response to the question ‘Have students ever had to delete their social media account, and if yes what was the reason?’ Nearly a third of respondents from Indore said they stay off social media for this reason. Another 11% deleted their accounts because of instructions from parents.

On the other hand, over a third of the respondents said they have made 100 or more friends via Facebook alone. Seventy-five percent of them have made at least one friend through social media sites. Twenty-nine percent have made up to 50 friends on Facebook, while 12% have made between 50 and 100 friends.

They categorised 16% of their friends on Facebook as “very close friends” and 19% as either complete strangers or those whom they barely knew before adding them on the list.

The survey also tried to assess if the students aspired to be entrepreneurs. Over a half, 58%, said they do. Two of their top-3 role models – Steve Jobs, A.P.J Abdul Kalam, and Bill Gates – are entrepreneurs.

Contributions from: Kanishkaa Balachandran, Meenakshi R., Deepalakshmi K., Anusha Surendran

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