Understanding How Young People Use Technology Today

Sometimes, the rapid speed of technology makes me feel older than my years (and I’m not even that old!).  Back in my day, we didn’t have tablets or smart phones – most people didn’t even have computers.  We had to communicate to one another by dialing them on a home phone, and, if my parents couldn’t reach me because I wasn’t where I said I was going to be, then I would be in big trouble when I got home.

But things have changed a lot since then, and parents have lots of ways to keep track of their children.  Young people communicate through text messaging, preferring that method over email due to its convenience.  They don’t even really have to learn handwriting – they’re practically born with keyboards in their hands.  Even when dealing with a slightly older generation, some of the 20-somethings I know don’t even own televisions, since they get all of their media from the computer.

Interesting to think about, isn’t it?  These technologies that once were innovative and paved the future for us are now barely even relevant.  That’s why, as someone who works within digital media, I find it important to keep up with the newest technology – to play with it, own it and learn how to use it.

While TV is not dying anytime soon (how could it, with so many baby boomers who’ve grown up with televisions?), it’s important to take notice of the ways young people use, engage with and interact with technology.  This is a new generation, full of young people who are “digital natives.”  And, the disconnect is clear: while some marketers and advertisers have found ways to reach these people, lots of digital media initiatives still miss the mark.

For instance, I go on YouTube all the time, but I couldn’t name a single YouTube celebrity without the help of our marketing interns.  But they point me to Ray William Johnson and Daily Grace, both of whom are completely unrecognizable to parents, yet have millions of teen/young adult followers on the internet.

Or, take the popularity of mobile gaming.  Some people I know play games like Tetris or Bejeweled on their mobile devices, but young people take mobile gaming to a whole new level.  Through role-playing games that contain a social component, they can interact with an entire new world where in-game currency can be exchanged for real-life currency.

(And that DEFINITELY didn’t exist when I was a kid!)

If you work for a brand and are aiming to ramp up your digital presence, it is essential to keep track of the newest gadgets, games and trends in technology.  With an abundance of blogs like Gizmodo and TechCrunch, there’s no reason that marketers can’t be in touch with the ways that young people use tech.

As you’re planning your digital strategy, I encourage marketers to look toward the future.  With more technologies becoming widely available each day, it’s important to carefully plan your strategy to ensure that it’s reaching the audience where they are.  Our Orlando marketing agency advises you to spend a little bit of time getting to know what’s new in technology, in order to help gap between digitally divided generations.