Does technology enable us to spend more time with friends, family, doing sports, reading a book?

…when speaking to a colleague about trends that will affect our media consumption habit…

«Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we’ve lived. After all .., … we’re only mortal.» – Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Generations (1994), portrayed by Patrick Stewart

A few years ago I held a presentation regarding trends and habits in media consumption (after having analyzed the target group „persons, aged 14-25“). Someone asked during the presentation, how they (a company wanting to reach this audience) could cope with the fact of changing media habits and with the rise of all new technologies and trends, after all, they had to sell their products. I then remarked, my kids just use my iPhone w/o fear of new technologies (so should they…). Is it because Apple just invented a device so simple to use, that even my kids can use it, or is it because kids just grow up w/o any barrier of „old“ technologies (see the quotation here )? I stated, I did not know, but in my opinion it was rather the 2nd reason and Apple was lucky enough to place the right product in the right time on a hungry market.

Anyway, the results showed basically, that the trends for today’s youth are:
connectivity, simplicity, relevance, authenticity, global-localism

Before ending my presentation I pointed out, that main drivers for teens nowadays are still the same as they were in the past: friendship, fun & entertainment, health, family. Social components of „fear of being lonely = not being loved, being accepted“, „fear of loosing a job“, „fear of not being able to cope with school/work pressure“ come on top. Those fears, I think, we all had when we were (at least my generation) young. Almost 40y later the problem that comes on top is technology and all new devices. 40y ago if you had a fight with a school buddy, you had a fight (btw, a real one) on the playground. Nowadays fights are done thru facebook (PS: I quit Facebook, finally!), via sms and twitter. So basically the difference of then and now is: we have built a playground for cowards (it is easy to bash s.o. on facebook) and a worldwide scene for rubberneckers! My advice, teach your kids on how to be punchy: in words, f.e. during reading classes, and in facts, f.e. during a training in brazlian jujitsu. It works!

New technologies can enable us to spend the time we have probably more consciously. If we will learn how to, before we get eaten up by this technology, it’s another question. At the end, we have to decide, what we do with our time: read a book, go out with friends, learn brazilian jujitsu, talk with your partner, play soccer with your son etc. or bash people on facebook…because this time will never come again. So how will you cope with new technologies?

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