Key Findings

A Tethered World revealed a generation that has fully integrated mobile technologies into their lives. The results of this study show a homogenized, technologically-dependent population, who use their phone to tether themselves to communities and to social networks….but not much else.

The following student quotes exemplify some of the main themes discovered.

  • [Mobile Phones] Make us shallower and self-centered, as well as hungry for attention.
  • We are constantly texting, talking, searching, sharing, and updating, mainly by ourselves. In doing this it negatively effects our social interactions as we tune out all the people around us, (like train takers) and end up keeping to ourselves.
  • Social networking and the Internet have done wonders for my organizations and relationships to old and new friends. There are few people that I text or call on a daily basis; social networking gives me the opportunity to keep relationships strong even when I can’t always dedicate a whole lot of time to them.
  • My phone provides me with (shallow) feelings of connectivity and being loved or attended to.
  • Even I cannot deny the excitement I get when a hundred of my 972 closest Facebook “friends” wish me happy birthday and having that be the judge of to whom I’ll leave a message of wishes when their special day comes.
  • My mobile device allows me to make myself heard and present, like on Facebook for example.

In this section you will find the main conclusions for A Tethered World. These include: Conclusions and Insights, which present the findings and inferences that emerged from the entire data collection and analysis process. These key takeaways frame the larger implications of the study, and help streamline some of the general similarities across the global sample. The Visualized Data by Country section provides country-specific insights that offer comparative models for how the geographic clusters of participants used mobile phones for information, communication, and interaction. Finally, the Media Literacy Implications offer educational responses to the tethered world study that center around effective teaching and learning strategies for empowering active and participatory citizens in a mobile media age.