Pew Research released their latest findings in 2010 about the various generations living in America and their online habits. It was interesting.
As you could predict, online activity was up for every generation — especially those over 74-years-old. (It seems many elders finally bought in!) One shift, however, was a decrease in activity among Generation Y. They are declining in an area where most adults are growing. Pew reports:
“Few of the activities covered in this report have decreased in popularity for any age group, with the notable exception of blogging. Only half as many online teens work on their own blog as did in 2006, and Millennial generation adults ages 18-33 have also seen a modest decline — a development that may be related to the quickly-growing popularity of social network sites. At the same time, however, blogging’s popularity increased among older generations, and as a result the rate of blogging for all online adults rose slightly overall from 11% in late 2008 to 14% in 2010.”
So, why aren’t these young people blogging? Why should they? Blogging consumes a lot of time, especially if the blogger works at it. And “a lot of time” is not something Generation Y (and especially Generation iY born since 1990) possesses. Additionally, it requires original thought — which may be a rare commodity, too. Students do, however, have bits of time to re-tweet and update their Facebook profiles. Note the Pew Research below:
“Yet while the act formally known as blogging seems to have peaked, Internet users are doing blog-like things in other online spaces as they post updates about their lives, musings about the world, jokes, and links on social networking sites and micro-blogging sites such as Twitter.”
So, if you want to get through to Generation Y, they seem to be saying:
1. Get to the point.
2. Give me something to think about.
3. Use a metaphor so it’s memorable.
4. Make it pithy so it’s re-tweetable.
What patterns have you noticed in your students? Is it all short and “tweet”?