Understanding the technology use of younger generations can often appear as something that’s far out of reach from the world of older professionals. Unlike generations before, Millennials have grown up with immediate access to various forms of technology in an extremely pervasive media saturated society. The gap between generations in this way can be problematic for businesses attempting to market to a younger demographic. With the Youth Tech Briefing USA 2014 study, Voxburner is making an effort to bridge a gap in understanding between businesses and their targeted audience by interviewing over one thousand 16 to 24 year olds across the United States.
Through the study, Voxburner has presented some beneficial insights. Here are a few highlights on our tech savvy youth:
- Perhaps the most important discovery was also an unexpected one. Although extreme consumption of technology is replacing human interaction, young people are also very aware of this fact. This is a very different perspective than the prevailing idea of a complete tech-embracing era. According to the report, about 94% of those surveyed agree “people spend too much time on their phones and not enough time talking to each other.”
- An even more surprising statistic is when approximately 84% of the subjects agree that if they have children, they hope their kids won’t spend more time using technology than they currently do. These results show that there is a legitimate dependence on media, but young people are not necessarily happy about it. In fact, this study shows the distress from the subjects on the enslaving quality technology has embodied.
- With younger generations aware and actively voicing their concerns about cyberbullying approximately 56% agree that technology will “be used for evil rather than good.” When specifically asked whether or not the participants were cyberbullied online or subject to comments that they found upsetting, 42% of the female respondents said “yes.” Lastly, when it comes to “censorship and control” of the Internet, approximately 51% of the survey respondents agree there should be more.
It is now evident that the younger generation has a conflicting feeling toward technology where it is loved for it’s convenience and empowerment, but also criticized for its addictive qualities that make so many people dependent. Commenting on the Voxburner report, Dave Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft stated about the findings, “The research shows some clear evidence that most young people are clearly putting technology in its place, using it to extend and enhance their lives but not becoming slaves to it as a result.”
Moving forward, companies will need to watch closely and gain a clearer understanding of how younger audiences include technology in their lives to determine the best ways to engage and create a better experience for young audiences.