Generation M

Category: Education

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Generation M: The Multitasking Generation: 

Generation M: The Multitasking Generation

Who are they? : 

Who are they? Born 1980 – 1998, 8 to 26 year olds Lifestyle Media: Media is their life. They use all media, all the time and simultaneously Diversity is Normal International in thinking Lifestyle Media: Media is their life. They create the schedule They create the mix They produce the result They use all media, all the time and simultaneously This generation strongly believes in "making this world a better place" - like the 60’s generation Wants to find out the true meaning of everything Ethical and organic-biological emphasis is important to them They chose explicitly bio-food products They will opt to purchase "civilly responsible" products with a "social label" This responsible attitude is reflected by investment in ethical ventures "Fun" holidays are closer to nature and do not destroy the environment

Why are they the way they are? : 

Why are they the way they are? Born to indulgent and overcommitted parents Family Centric Lifestyle Raised under the “Milk Carton Kids” stigma Lived through 9/11 framing of security & “Weapons of Mass Destruction” Movie of the Generation: The Matrix Technology boom: The true Digital generation TV’s in their cars Handheld devices Fresh in the Internet Boom Social communicators via text, SMS, cell phone, email and My Space Today 82 percent of kids are online by the seventh grade (Pew Internet and American Life Project) Some sociologists even define them as "people who refuse to live their age" Impressive buying potential, plenty of leisure time Often (partly or largely) financially supported by their well-off parents

What do they want?: 

What do they want? This ever-changing whirl presents a host of questions in Cognitive development Can new media offer educational content in an appealing and effective format? Does a medium stifle or inspire creativity in young people? Empower or disenfranchise them? Offer powerful tools for health education, or model unhealthy habits? The Answer is,” Yes” to all. They want it all and want to feel good about it. Common trends: First, the feel-good factor is "in”. Creativity and originality are important for them, as is the feel-good factor. In everything they do, and also in their consumer pattern, generation M wants to "discover" the true meaning or sense of their lives and this is reflected in their demand for specific kind of services and products.

What do they do?: 

What do they do? Generation M is also the Mobile Generation Stationary they are on the move Everything goes with them wherever they go Always wired to media: Four hours a day are spent with television and nearly 2 hours with music. Nearly 70% have a television in their bedroom, 31% have a computer. In 6 ½ hours per day they get 8 ½ hours of media; they are multi-taskers. The 61/2 hours a day devoted to media compares to 21/4 hours (2:17) spent hanging out with parents, 11/2 hours (1:25) spent in physical activity each Under one hour (0:50) spent doing homework, 1/2 hour (0:32) spent doing chores

Generation M Media Use (2005 Kaiser Foundation Study): 

Generation M Media Use (2005 Kaiser Foundation Study) The big finding: Kids were spending 6.5 hours a day -- but packing more media exposure into that time: 8.5 hours' worth, thanks to "media multitasking" -- listening to iTunes, watching a DVD and IM’ing friends all at the same time. They own their own technology; of those 8-14 years old 39% have cell phones 24% have a hand-held Internet device or PDA 12% have a laptop computer 7 days of the week 44 1/2 hours a week 26% of the time young people are using media, they’re using more than one medium at a time (reading and listening to music, for example) Equivalent of 81/2 hours a day (8:33) of media content into less than 61/2 hours of time. TV and music are the dominant youth media, nearly four hours (3:51) when videos, DVDs, and prerecorded shows are included 13/4 hours a day (1:44) listening to the radio, CDs, or MP3 players Interactive media over one hour a day on PC (1:02) outside of schoolwork 50 minutes a day (0:49) playing video games Reading is close behind, at an average of 0:43 a day spent reading books, magazines, or newspapers for something other than schoolwork.

What do they think? : 

What do they think? This is a "thinking generation" who is critical towards the whole world They do not really have a generation conflict with their baby boom parents, rebels influenced by the 60’s Most Important, their thinking and buying pattern influence their parents Rather than being rebels themselves, they are "fabulous followers" It is a generation that keeps living with their parents as long as possible, first while studying and then while working Some sociologists even define them as "people who refuse to live their age" Impressive buying potential, plenty of leisure time Often (partly or largely) financially supported by their well-off parents

Why do we need them?: 

Why do we need them? They influence their parents more than almost any prior generation Communicating with them now will pay long-term dividends Generation M is critical to the success of managing our resources They instantly communicate; spreading information virally…Blogging is just too slow! If you want to own the trend, know and influence them If you want to be run over by the trend, ignore them

How do we reach them? : 

How do we reach them? Traditional marketing does not work They program their media so they are off the radar Marketing via sms-messages is viewed as positive. Competitions are even organized whereby participants have to send sms-messages to a company. References to the sixties are considered "hip". Your message must appeal to M’s sense of community and trend: Belonging/community Media has replaced the playground They spend less face time with friends and family, but interact electronically Appealing to M’s sense of community, making them feel like they belong Being part of a trend Unlike other generations who had (trends) thrust upon them (like WWII, Viet Nam, 9/11), M needs to feel that they matter They will tell everyone they know, now!

How do you deliver the message? : 

How do you deliver the message? Traditional outreach programs must be employed Schools & Universities Community centers Combined with the new media Mobile devices – cell phone, PDA, etc (Companies like Infreeda) Using new messaging tactics SMS messaging Voice messaging

What have we learned?: 

What have we learned? Without question, this generation truly is the media generation, devoting more than a quarter of each day to media. It’s Pervasive: As media devices become increasingly portable, spreading—from schools to cars—media messages are more ubiquitous in an already media-saturated world. It’s Natural: Human beings have always had a capacity to attend to several things at once. Mothers have done it since the hunter-gatherer era -- picking berries while suckling an infant, stirring the pot with one eye on the toddler. It’s Fast: There is no doubt that the phenomenon has reached a kind of warp speed in the era of Web-enabled computers. It’s Multi-level: It has become routine to conduct six IM conversations, watch American Idol on TV vote on their favorite and Google the names of last season's finalists all at once. Not the same as just behaving the remote!

In Conclusion: 

In Conclusion On the positive side: Gen M students tend to be extraordinarily good at finding and manipulating information. They are socially conscious and “Fast Followers”. Presumably because modern childhood tilts toward visual rather than print media, they are especially skilled at analyzing visual data and images. By the time many kids get to college, their devices have become extensions of themselves, indispensable social accessories, preparing them for business in the 2000’s. New Generation of Socializing: For all the hand-wringing about Generation M, technology is not really the problem. Social shifts are. The challenge ahead: “It's not so much that the video game is going to rot your brain, it's what you are not doing that's going to rot your life."

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