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Teens and computers

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Question raised by a copyeditor's query...

Those of you who have/know teenagers: If they have their own computer, is it a desktop computer or a laptop?

Thanks!  :)
#1 - March 09, 2014, 07:10 AM
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Most of them have laptops because it's easier for them to be mobile, and with school, etc. they are always on the go.
#2 - March 09, 2014, 07:12 AM
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And many teens now access the internet on their smart phones, iPod, or tablets.  Those smaller devices are the norm.
#3 - March 09, 2014, 07:19 AM
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Our high school issues official laptops to every student, and most kids have their own too. My nieces saved up their money and bought laptops when they were in middle school. But I think my nephew might use a desktop system -- maybe these are used more for kids into gaming and design.

Honestly, there are all kinds of situations and what serves your story could work. Like if a laptop doesn't work for a story, it's perfectly plausible that a parent might insist on a desktop because they want to control computer usage, don't trust the kid not to lose it, gave use of an old system got from work, got it as a surprise and didn't ask what the kid wanted first, etc.
#4 - March 09, 2014, 07:39 AM
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 07:46 AM by Kell »
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My friends with teens seem to get them laptops now, with the hopes they will be easy to take to college if they last that long!
#5 - March 09, 2014, 07:42 AM
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Laptops. They definitely need them for schoolwork.
 
ETA: Unless the teen in question is a serious gamer--then they might have saved up for a dedicated gaming desktop computer with uber graphics.
#6 - March 09, 2014, 07:46 AM
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 07:47 AM by Marissa Doyle »
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Thanks all, that helps a lot!  It doesn't really matter to the story--I'd just defaulted on a desktop computer because that's what I had as a teen, and the CE suggested most teens have laptops now (which it sounds like is true!).
#7 - March 09, 2014, 08:09 AM
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Gamers like big screens and the hottest hardware -- desktops are the norm.
#8 - March 09, 2014, 10:19 AM
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Laptop, issued by the school.
#9 - March 09, 2014, 10:49 AM
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I guess it just depends on your story. But I would also say that, these days, 90% of gamers would have a desktop AND a laptop for school. My youngest uses my computer for Minecraft, but has a "school provided and required" laptop for everything else.
#10 - March 09, 2014, 10:53 AM
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Wouldn't it also depend on the family's circumstances?
The kid might have a desktop if it were a hand-me-down from the parent.
Some kids don't have computers at all; they may have to rely on libraries.
Some kids have every device you can think of, acquired at different times for different purposes.
Some kids are allowed to use only the family desktop, because the parents want to watch everything they do online.

My stepson had a desktop built from spare parts by his computer-jock dad, plus a laptop for school, plus a smart phone.
#11 - March 13, 2014, 05:02 PM
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As of 6 years ago, Daughter had a school issued laptop (& by school issued I mean "for which the parents are billed even though it's not the best laptop for that price").  They had to use the ones the school selected. Jump forward to a year ago & Son was allowed to get a laptop that "meets school requirements" instead of going with the buggy, heavy ones the school selected.


His best friend attends a different school & has a desktop that he actually unplugs & carts over to our house to use when they're gaming. Various other friends at other schools all use desktops (often hand-me-downs or shared units). 


At Son's school, they are also expected to have smartphones & some teachers require texting for assignments.  They're also allowed to receive & send texts to parents during the school days.  They can use digital textbooks & ereaders if they want OR read textbooks on their laptops.


Friends' schools are "no phones in school" & no ereaders in school, so in all things tech, it's been a case of "what does the school require/allow?" 
#12 - March 14, 2014, 05:21 PM

Wouldn't it also depend on the family's circumstances?
The kid might have a desktop if it were a hand-me-down from the parent.
Some kids don't have computers at all; they may have to rely on libraries.
Some kids have every device you can think of, acquired at different times for different purposes.
Some kids are allowed to use only the family desktop, because the parents want to watch everything they do online.

My stepson had a desktop built from spare parts by his computer-jock dad, plus a laptop for school, plus a smart phone.
Yes, all of this, definitely.

Working at a library, I see kids who don't have any computers at home and kids who have all the latest devices. Your characters can fall anywhere in that range.

My 17yo sister has a laptop I passed on to her when I got a new one. It's several years old now, some keys have popped off, and it's definitely showing its age (can't run most of the games she'd like to play, etc). When she goes off to college my parents plan to buy her a new computer that will last her through school, probably another laptop. My 15yo brother has primary use of a desktop, which was purchased with decent gaming specs, but is kept downstairs. He'll spend all day and most of the night gaming if he can, school night or no, so he isn't allowed to have a computer in his room or a laptop. Different kids have different needs and restrictions.
#13 - March 15, 2014, 07:41 AM
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My teenaged cousins have their own laptops; one of them has an e-reader, too.  (And a giant flat-screen TV and blu-ray player in her room, but that's besides the point ...)
#14 - March 15, 2014, 11:11 PM
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