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Study: Young Adults Snapping Up New Tech

Generation Y young adults aged 18-26 are plugging into technology at a faster rate than any other generation, but they are doing so instead of spending time in front of a TV, according to a new Forrester Research study.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based analyst firm’s annual technology-adoption study surveyed 66,707 households in the United States and Canada. It found that young adults spend 12.2 hours online, 28% longer than Generation X’s 27- to 40-year-olds and twice as long as baby boomers aged 51-61.

Young adults also are more likely to tap into newer online-communications services such as instant messaging, blogs and community Web sites such as Myspace.com. And -- bad news, perhaps, for cable operators -- they are doing so at the expense of TV viewing.

"All generations adopt devices and Internet technologies, but younger consumers are Net natives who spend more time online than watching television," said Forrester vice president and co-author of the report Ted Schadler. "Younger generations live online, reading blogs, downloading podcasts, checking prices before buying and trading recommendations."

The study also found that 41% of all North American households are linked to a broadband Internet connection, and of the 75% of all households that have mobile phones, almost one-half use them to make most of their long-distance calls.

In addition, 45% of Generation Y users, 27% of Generation X users and 17% of baby boomers have bought into a mobile-data service, mostly using it for text messaging, ring tones and games.