Nielsen has released a report that shows just how much more teens use texting than the rest of the population. They average over 3,300 sent or received texts per month. That’s kind of mind boggling for a dad of one of these texting titans.
The numbers drop off quite significantly the older the text user gets. No surprise there.
So what are the implications for marketers? Well, it’s easy to say that texting is the future because this is how kids are growing up. Well, at the risk of dating myself, I used to buy albums like crazy as a kids (yea those ancient vinyl things) but now I have an iPod.
My point? I love music but how I take in music today has changed with technology and other influences. I think the same holds for this group. Sure they text a lot now but all that means is that they are used to communicating more than others (which also means there is a whole lotta nothing being said these days but that’s for another post.)
Does that automatically translate into texting being the future? Maybe and maybe not. As technology evolves there is no telling just how this group will be able to fulfill this need to communicate non-stop. Texting might be it but there might be something else sitting out there as well. Just 35 short years ago no one thought that albums would be replaced by 8 tracks, which would be replaced by cassettes which would be replaced by CDs which would be replaced by digital music delivery, right?
Also, let’s not assume that teens will continue to feed this need to communicate as they get older. Remember how you were as a teenager? Have you changed? Of course you have and they will too.
So let’s be careful to paint the future as people walking with their heads down and not communicating with each other at all times unless through technology. Let’s not fear that the future President of the US will not be able to hold a face to face meeting with another world leader because they can’t speak, they can just text. Those are rash conclusions that don’t take into account human change that occurs as we get older and learn more.
Now if only I could talk to my teenager without using UR to say “You are grounded!” Remember those days?