Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Class of 2012 - The Connected Generation

Copyright 2012, IBM Corporation.  Excerpted from "Smarter Planet Stories:  Go Social.  Stay Safe.  Be Smart."

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. 
The Internet makes it possible to shop, learn, socialize, network, and share on a global scale.  But with all that access, it is important to remember:
  • 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.
Beyond 2012:  What will the future bring?  What is in store for generations to come?

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."

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