How do Generation Y really use their phones?

Summary:A recent survey shows young adults do more with their mobile phones than those aged 55 and older. While this wasn't sent from the Department of the Bleeding Obvious, but this gratuitous rant on corporate "research" was written

Yesterday I received a late press release from Sprint, a major cellular network in the United States, which included a survey looking into the different areas of mobile phone use by young adults in work and social environments.

The mostly-obvious comes out of this research, on a sociological level rather than a technological level. Out of 2,025 adults (aged 18 and older):

  • 70% of those 18 to 34 years old use mobile text messaging in comparison to 9% of those 55 and older.
  • 23% of 18 to 34 years old use mobile browsing in comparison to 6% of those 55 and older.
  • 21% of 18 to 34 years old use mobile social networking in comparison to 1% of those 55 and older.
  • 46% of 18 to 34 years old prefer to have a QWERTY keyboard on their phone for writing text.
  • 52% of 18 to 34 years old are "compulsive or frequent" checkers of their phone for mobile social networking applications like Facebook, compared to 9% of those 55 and older.

So what do these figures show us exactly? That the younger generation use mobile phones a lot more and in many more ways than that of older generations. That's it.

I spoke to my grandfather earlier on today - a man well into his late 70's and with a strong passion for modern day gadgetry and technology. Paraphrased he said:

"Modern technology is truly a wonderful, enlivening concept especially for old fools such as I. Nevertheless dear lad, most of my ageing generation wouldn't know the arse end of a remote control to the Zimmerframe that keeps them from kicking that nasty gravitational habit we seem to endure at the best of times.

You and your generation were born into an era of possibility and advancements which made the workings of Bletchley Park look like chalk on slate. As the old buggers that we are, we'll have better luck adjusting to being worm-food than adjusting to this technological age which has kicked in half way through our lives; lives of which were satisfied and content with the more simpler way of living and computing."

The simple fact of the matter is that the Generation Y'ers were born into an age of technology and was a major part of primary socialisation - the initial years of learning. The figures show the obvious and frankly a 10 year old could have told you this was the case.

Topics: Hardware, Collaboration, Mobility, Telcos

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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