I found a video discussion panel, Next Generation Insights, in which young people (ranging from a high school sophomore to a 24-year-old) discuss their uses of technology today.
It was a neat video to watch, even if it is an hour long. I recommend watching it if you want to see how people in this age group use technology. If nothing else, you will get to hear a girl explain that she uses her phone to produce 4,000 text messages a month.
Now, I will attempt to answer the questions posed to the group.
- What cell phones and carriers do you use?
I use a $45 Sony Ericsson phone from Wal-Mart because my last phone died. I have service from Cingular.
- What are your uses of cell phones vs. landlines?
I don’t have a landline any longer. Since I purchased a cell phone 4 1/2 years ago, I’ve found a landline unnecessary. I kept the landline for a couple of years, but I was paying for something I never used.
- Do you have cameras on your cell phone?
I don’t have a camera on my cell phone. The quality of the camera on the affordable phones is lackluster compared to my HP Photosmart R927 (8.2 megapixels). Maybe when cheaper phones get close to this megapixel range, I’ll add camera on my list of things I would use in a cell phone.
- Do you ever print digital photos?
Rarely. I generally set photos up on my computer in files to share with friends at home and over the internet. Sometimes they provide a much needed change in my desktop background. I also use the pictures to put on MySpace and Facebook.
- What is your use of MySpace?
I don’t use it that much. Too many people don’t know how to design with CSS, so there are a lot of profiles that are just ugly and take way too long to view (and I have high-speed cable). I’m more of a Facebook fan. It’s a great networking tool. I have caught up with old friends that I probably would’ve never seen or spoken to again in my life. I plan events, import my blog, share photos, message friends, and loads of other things presented in a fast-loading, navigational manner.
- What is the role of IM?
I can hardly remember the last time I used IM. My first couple of years of college, I used it quite a bit. Often having 3-4 windows open at one time.
- How do you pay for things online?
With my debit card usually. I also have an Amazon credit account. I usually buy things off of Amazon. Most of my purchases are movies and books because I can get things much cheaper there.
- Do you play video games?
Occasionally. I don’t have much time for them these days. Every now and then, I’ll invite some friends up to have a Halo 2 LAN party.
- Do you watch TV anymore?
Hardly. I mostly tune in for football games. However, I do keep a massive collection of DVDs and TV on DVDs. It’s easier to watch through a season of a show at my own convenience than having to try and catch the show on a weekly basis. I also use my DVD recorder to record some of my favorite shows during the week. Speaking of, I have about two months worth of burnt DVDs to catch up on.
- How many of you have iPods?
I own the 30GB iPod Video. I only have enough songs on there to use 3GB though. I don’t use it too much. I’ll probably stick with Apple’s product. It works well, and I wouldn’t want to switch my music collection, albeit small, over to another platform anytime soon.
- What are your general uses of computers?
General uses? Blogging, obviously. Microsoft Word for typing papers and some other things that I write. Notepad for coding and quick notes. Wordpad for some more structured notes. Windows Media Player and iTunes for listening to music. I edit videos, email professors, keep in touch with friends. And I’m going to stop listing things now because this list could get long.
- How can advertisers reach young people?
I honestly don’t know. So many things are being designed to get around advertising these days. Word of mouth is always a big advertisement. But, word of mouth has to start somewhere. Celebrities are a big factor in determining how some people purchase.
- Do you play online games with other people?
Not much. In the summer, I might play an online game with others on my XBox 360.
- Do you watch video on your computers and where do you get it?
I check out YouTube on occasion or videos from other blogs and sites. On occassion, I might bring a DVD on a trip to watch on my computer.
- How much time do you spend with email?
I check it a few times a day. It’s usually used to communicate with professors. I also, get automated messages for bills that I owe. Usually, it’s used for more formal messaging. I use Facebook to message friends.
- Are you familiar with RSS feeds?
Yes. I run a blog.
- Do you know what a wiki is?
Yes, but I don’t use wiki services a lot. If I’m looking for quick information, I usually google it first. Of course, sometimes the wiki answer comes up. Answers.com is another site I use for things like this.
- How do you communicate when away from your computer?
Cell phones are a major device used for communication. If I need to tell someone something, I’ll use the cell phone.
- What gadget or service do you wish you had?
Probably a mixture between iPod, a satellite phone, my HP camera, and a quality PDA.
- How will what you do change as you enter the working world, and what skills do you wish your parents had?
I’m sure that the skills I am acquiring now will inevitably affect the way in which I work. And I think that employers are starting to understand that my generation is an information generation. We bring in skills that some people from older generations (not all) are still trying to figure out; whereas, we have an extensive working knowledge of computer technologies. My parents? They’re too scared to buy a lot of stuff online. So, I wish them the ability to stop worrying about that.