Google, TikTok, Maps, Instagram and the generation Z
In this post I want just to share a few words about how the approach to the technology has changed accross generations.
Every generation has its own peculiarities, but it's intereseting to see how the latest generations approaches to the web and how the use existing technologies in way which is different from the previous generation.
I'm a generation X and I grew up while internet didn't exist. As many like me I started with a Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, Spectrum Sinclair, Amdstrad CPC-464, Atari ST etc. We approached the computers era from the ground up, learning the basic concepts which stands behind computers technology.
Along the years it was a pleasure see how far the technology went. The more diffused storage media, for the home computers, at the time were cassette tapes, something that people from generazion Z don't know about. Below an image a cassette tape used to store, music or programs.
I learned to code, I learned about local area networks, I learned about internet (in the beginning it was not like we see it now). The revolution happened at the time we started to connect our devices via internet.
In the beggining communication happend on the standard phone line and you had to dial a number to connect your pc, morever your mother was afraid of the cost ofthe call and about the fact that the phone can't be used to made or receive calls. Below the image of an old 56K modem from US Robotics, one of the modems I used, at the time, to connect to internet and on the the best at the time.
Generation after generation it changed the way people approached to technology. For my nephew, born in the 1998 is unbeliveable to think to not have WiFi or internet connectivity. She was born and grew up while the network was already pervasive in the human daily life.
We passed from a period where information were few and rare, so what we had at the time was precious, to a period where the new generation are overwhelmed by information and sometimes they are not able to find what they are looking for.
Below a diagram which shows the various generations and the years the belong to:
About generation Z, so people born between 1997 and 2012 the approach to the technology has changed again. Accordingly to a study made by Google, it revealed that 40% of Gen Z users prefer using TikTok or Instagram for internet searches over searches made with a traditional Google search. Also Google Maps seems to be not of interest because they never seen a real map so they try to find alternatives to this in a way which provide information about a place in a more catchy way.
Since Generation X users are used to read search across multiple sources, the information they need, Generation Z users prefer a more visual approach to the information. This means also, that they are non incline to read but they are more attracted by catchy videos or very short texts accompanied by images or videos.
As Gen X I prefer to read articles without advertising, viedos, or animated images that distracts me from the content and this is diametrically opposed to waht Gen Z users do.
I'm not saying that this change is negative at all but the risk is that new generation can be easly led to agree with to what they see because what they see is cool or catchy, instead of read the information, better from multiple sources, and build their opinions.
For marketing, information sites etc. it's easier to led new generations to think what they want and this is potentially a risk to conform people to the same thought.
Technology is great it brought huge improvements in the latest 50 years, but is my personal opinion that new generations are not aware of what stands behind all this. They only consumes contents, services and functionalities in a wasy that someone else decided for them. Today many things are easier than before, and this led people to don't care about what stand under the hood.
With that said, there some habits that I inherited from the new generations, expecially from Millenials which are next to my gen.
New gen have also discovered alternative jobs and occupations, just think to youtubers or all the people which produce content for twitch and other platforms. They are able to monetize where the previous generations where not capable of and where they didn't see any opportunity.