I was catching up on old Times Business sections over the weekend and this chart, accompanying an article about video for mobile devices, jumped out at me. It shows Forrester research that asked people in different age groups, “Which device do you most feel you could not live without?” The devices in question were computer, TV and cellphone.
Easy enough for me to answer: I watch almost no TV. (I know people have a hard time accepting this, but it’s true.) I have a cellphone but it’s a clunky old thing and I use it only for utilitarian things — parent/child coordination, business details. My computer, on the other hand, is my lifeline: Source of information, social networking tool, information store, creative device, and more.
So I just had another birthday — I’ve moved into that zone of the ’40s that can’t be considered anything but “late” — and I figured that this particular set of gadget-preferences must mark me as an incipient codger. Kids these days live for their cell-phones and think e-mail is something to use when they want to communicate with those over 30, right?
Hah! Turns out I have the techno-preferences of a teen. My profile matches that of an 18-26 “Generation Y” type: they’re the only ones to rank computer first, cellphone second and TV last. My own generational cadre (“younger boomers”) puts TV at the top of its list. The accompanying article is all about how ESPN wants to put video on phone screens. It quotes one exec of a “cellphone video network” saying: “For the younger generation, the mobile phone is their most relevant device.”
But that’s not what the chart shows! Isn’t the news here that, for the consumers of tomorrow, as for me, the computer, far from being a stodgy old thing, is the desert-island device?
There are no revisions for this post.