new digital native fightback research

There’s been a bit of a ‘it’s all over for digital’ mood in recent months based on two factors. First,  enormous traffic figures for Apprentice and Britain’s Got Talent are heralded as a return to the heady days of appointment TV and regular 7 million viewers. Second, studies showing that kids and ‘youf’ aren’t really all that savvy with computers at all, barely knowing how to search and typing slowly with one finger. I heard this voiced by several luminaries at the digital britain conference, you know, the sort of people who barely know how to search and type slowly with…. Sadly, one swallow doth not a summer make. New research from Channel 4 into kids and technology (kids being today’s 12-24 year-olds) shows that the digital native is making a comeback.

  • They personally own 8 devices (including MP3 player, PC, TV, DVD player, mobile phone, stereo, games console, and digital camera)
  • They frequently conduct over 5 activities whilst watching TV
  • 25% of them agree that “I’d rather stay at home than go on a holiday with no internet or phone access”
  • A quarter of young people interviewed text or IM (instant message) friends they are physically with at the time
  • They have on average 123 friends on their social network spaces
  • And the first thing the majority of them do when they get home is turn on their PC

Good news for the geeks then? Andy Pipes on the platform 4 blog comments:

Kids these days still find technology a means to an end – primarily meeting up with their friends, watching television and listening to music. Above all, youth’s obsession with technology is around communication. The average person surveyed was doing 5 simultaneous actions whilst they watched television these days; and the majority of those actions involved communicating at some level. One young teenage girl admitted “I talk to my friend and MSN (instant message) her at the same time.” In fact, a full 34% of those asked said that they texted friends they were with at the time.

Universal problem for advertisers then – not only how to capture their attention, but also how to keep them engaged for longer then 3 seconds. Why am I not surprised?

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