In an interesting Advertising Age article last week, MTV senior VP of strategic consumer insights and research Nick Shore outlined lessons marketers can learn from the “digilife” of Gen Y (born 1977-1997).
Generation Y grew up in a digital world. Their older Gen X siblings (born 1965-1976) make up the small bridge generation between Boomers and Gen Y. As Shore notes, “Many Gen-Xers were already in their 20s before email became part of everyday life – and maybe into their 30s before the BlackBerry did.”
My cohort, the Silent Generation, is already out of the workforce (though I have refused to act my age and retire). Email was something revolutionary when it emerged in the 90s. Today, Gen Y considers email the new snail mail, preferring texting and tweeting rather than sending messages to wait in someone’s inbox next to Netflix ads and pleas from Nigerian bankers.
Gen Y adults came of age comfortable with the full array of digital tools. And their use of these tools is reshaping our world and how we communicate.
Their most significant influence is evident as young adults all over the world are using digital tools and social platforms to empower their generation, boost their self-confidence and push innovation even faster.
The Gen Z cohort (born 1998-present) is even more fluent in the digital world. Two weeks ago, one of our grandchildren used an office phone to call her mother. When she was done, she studied the handset and finally asked how she was supposed to end the call. She’d never seen a phone with a cord before and had no idea that putting the handset in the cradle would end the call.
Who knows what the next communication innovation will be? All we know for sure is that what we rely on today will seem as quaint next year as that corded phone.