Surveys conducted by local tertiary institutions have found that the majority of young people spend at least an hour on the internet every day. Also, college students prefer to use instant messaging rather than e-mail to keep in touch with friends. The findings were presented at this weekend's international conference on digital communication and social transformation held at the Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU). The conference, Digital Communication and Social Transformation: Chinese Societies and Beyond, was co-organised by HKBU and Nanjing University. More than 180 experts from 12 countries and regions took part. Kara Chan and Fang Wei, both from the HKBU, conducted a survey on Hong Kong young people's use of traditional media and the internet. Of the 405 respondents aged 15 to 24, 50 per cent said they spent one to three hours a day surfing the internet at home, while 30 per cent said they spent more than three hours. When asked about their choice of media, 98 per cent said they would choose to use the internet over other media, such as magazines and newspapers, for information research. The internet was also preferred for entertainment and leisure. In the survey conducted by Hong Kong Shue Yan College's Olivine Lo Wai-yu, 78 per cent of the 236 respondents said they would choose instant messaging over e-mail to communicate with friends. They said instant messaging was fun and entertaining, and that they could make new friends online. They said it was convenient as most of their friends also use instant messaging. Some even contacted their teachers via instant messaging. Other presentations at the three-day conference included investigations on communication and control in the Net society; new cultural formation within and without cyberspace; a critique of information society; and virtual connections between globalisation and localisation.