My husband is one of those people who regularly pulls out the old “back in my day” stories whenever the conversation revolves around technology, or books or music or. . . just about anything. My son is on the other side consuming the same quantity of words and music and information as we did just in a different way.
Facebook just posted a heartfelt video that illustrates this point beautifully as part of their “Coming of Age on Screens” study. Mom talks about passing notes in school, daughter talks about sending texts. Then the parents and kids share bits of their lives with each other; hardcopy verses digital. No kidding, I was crying by the end.
Excuse me a moment while I wipe away the tears, then we can talk business.
On behalf of Facebook, Crowd DNA surveyed 11,000 people, aged 13-24, in 13 countries around the world — Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the US.
What they discovered is that teens today aren’t all that different from the teens of the past. They simply communicate in different ways and they get and give information faster.
I was happy to see that the majority of young people described themselves as optimistic. 13-15 year-olds were the most positive, as were teens in Germany. Sadly and inexplicably, US teens came in lower than average on the glass half full scale.
This doesn’t mean they’re blissfully unaware of the world’s problems. 59% said they were concerned with global issues. In Indonesia, this pops up to 80%. 75% said they wanted to learn more about other countries and cultures and that’s a good first step toward making the world a better place.
66% of those surveyed said social media helps them stay in touch with what’s going on in the world. Most also felt that social media made them feel like a part of a wider community.
Just about three-quarters of all teens said social media helped them keep up to date with family and friends, including people they see everyday. Clearly, being a part of a group – large or small – is important.
While teens are texting about the football game and their favorite celeb, they’re also thinking about the future. 84% are prepared to work hard to achieve their goals and they’re bolstered by the success of others.
Bottom line for marketers: young people want to be inspired and informed. If they think you’re underestimating their intelligence, you’re done for. Show them how your brand or product fits into their world, not just now but in the future. And though charity donations and environmentally safe products go a long way with this generation – simply showing them how your product will make their lives more exciting, interesting or fun works, too.
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