Alive and kicking

07 May 2003|Christoper Ireland

Ok, now I’m really going to please Denise because I’m writing twice in one night… I was in a client work session today when someone posted the provocative statement “youth culture is dead.” Several people gasped, while others nodded their heads solemnly. The explanation of why this could be true were rational, but it illustrated to me the importance of getting a very broad view of your customers. For this particular client, youth culture may well seem dead. There’s very little difference between what a teen buys from them versus what an adult buys from them. But if you look at how young adults and teens are relating to computing technology, the generational divide is startling. Computing is part of their expected infrastructure, just like the phone, the TV and the car. It’s integrated into their socializing and it’s essential to their sense of entertainment. What makes this important to grasp and understand is not their current buying or usage patterns, but the effect it will have on their lives as they mature. They won’t feel the need to separate computers from their home life as many Boomers do. I’ll bet they won’t even feel the need to separate computers from their bodies. Eventually, all those who thought youth culture died in the late 20th Century will be surprised to find it was alive, growing and transforming the world–just not in the way we expected. How rebellious of them.

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