Today's graduates were born into a world rich with emerging technology. Their lives have been shaped by the digital tools that are defining how we work, live, and play.
The Class of 2012 has witnessed:
- The Spread of the Internet
- 2000: 361 million people using the Internet (5.8% of the world's population)
- 2012: 2.67 billion people using the Internet (33% of the world's population)
- The Advent of Social Computing
- 80% of teens who are online are active on social networks.
- 37% of teens send Facebook messages to friends everyday.
- The Rise of Mobile
- 2000: 720 million mobile subscribers worldwide (12% of the world's population)
- 2012: 6 billion mobile subscribers worldwide (87% of the world's population)
- Currently, 90% of phones in Africa are mobile.
- Currently, 75% of phones in China are mobile.
- You cannot replace the real world.
- The leaders of tomorrow will not replace face-to-face interactions with digital ones; they will find ways to balance and get the most out of both.
- The Digital World Has Risks
- In 2011, there was a 19% increase in the number of tools released publicly that can be used to attack mobile devices.
- In 2011, there was an 80% increase in phishing attacks - many of which impersonate social networking sites.
- Think Before Sharing on Social Networks
- 37% of employers use social networks to research job candidates. What you share on social networks can become part of your reputation forever.
- If you would not say it in person, do not say it online.
- With the reach of social computing, your words have staying power - you cannot take them back.
- 25% of people say they have posted something they regret.
Much will depend upon how today's graduates and future generations harness the digital world - to drive progress in health care, transpiration, cities, and more.
As people's lives are increasingly digitally connected, being social, secure, and smart is not only a rallying cheer for the Class of 2012 - it is becoming a way of life.
Copyright 2012, IBM Corporation. Excerpted from "Smarter Planet Stories: Go Social. Stay Safe. Be Smart."