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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Youth, Technology & Connected Cocoons

In my visits to atleast twenty different national capitals in the part of the year that has gone by; it is almost impossible not to notice that the young people are in a race with each other to embrace technologies faster – not surprising in this iPod generation & presence era,given that technology can only improve,the trend is irreversible. Instat recently reported that the youth market in the Asia-Pacific region is becoming a significant driver for growth in the region’s mobile phone market. Around 10-15% of all youth disposable income is spent on mobile products in developed countries, displacing spending on traditional youth products like clothing, toys, and comic books, etc., the high-tech market research firm says. In the Asia-Pacific region, spending by youth on mobile data is estimated to grow at 15.3% annually from 2004 to 2010.
Guardian reports that today's teenagers use technology to stay in touch with friends at all times - turning their bedrooms into "connected cocoons". Through personal computers, mobile phones and gaming consoles, teenagers are spurning antisocial angst for a culture of "connected cocooning"- a phrase coined by MTV to describe how the current 16-to-24-year-old "MTV generation" is permanently plugged into a network of digital devices, bringing the world to their fingertips in a way no previous generation has ever experienced. Such limitless communication is having a revolutionary impact on the way young people interact, socialise, work and play. MTV's recently released Generations report on the lives of the MTV (ages 16 to 24) and VH1 (ages 25 to 44) generations defines how technology has driven differences between these age groups. Young, early adopters have become used to instant gratification, the report found. Globalisation and consumerism do not deter. Instead, brands define and give a sense of belonging. Devices and their uses displace the real and the virtual, creating a world where you can be who you want to be. And joining the digital march isn't just a personal choice; to play a part in youth society, it is imperative to be switched on, charged up and always connected. For the older generation, the pace of change has been quite frightening. The VH1 generation grew up in a period where there were still a few certainties. The family was still together & with a sense of belonging. With most of these certainties seem to have gone - one has to try to mix and match identities to assert who you are. The MTV generation doesn't have fixed values, so they are more open to new technologies. Wi-Fi access to Nintendo gamers ia an important related development. This phenomenon is creating pressures for a variety of industries - The toy industry is responding to age compression,wherein kids are getting older younger – and is creating a revolution in the toy industry. Realizing that today's kids are sophisticated and tech-savvy,they are fighting fire with fire by building their own lines of "youth electronics." No doubt as we covered earlier, mobility has created revolutionalry sort of changes- already, governments have fallen, youth subcultures have blossomed from Asia to Scandinavia, new industries have been born and older industries have launched furious counterattacks and increasingly technology and mobility shall certainly act as the most dramatic change agent in the society.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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