Human generations have seen a huge growth in the development of technology. Undoubtedly, different generations have experienced the technological evolution in completely different ways. These generations can be divided into three categories on the basis of their existence periods.
- Generation X: It is a label given to those who were born in between 1960-1980, the time period just before technology invaded our lives.
- Millennials or Generation Y: This generation has multiple names like ‘Generation Y’, ‘The Next Great Generation’ or the most commonly used term, ‘Millennials’. This generation belongs to the time period from 1982 to 2000, thus justifying the name because they come from the start of the new millennium. Millennials have grown with technology in every field.
- Generation Z or The Technology Age: Generation that was born after 1995 when tech was everywhere is referred to as the Generation Z. These are mostly tech savvy and inclusive people.
Well, the evolution clearly shows that technology was less adapted in the age of generation X whereas today, technology is everywhere we look. It is a hallmark differentiator among generation X, Y and Z.
Gen X and Technology
Generation Xers are highly connected on the go, with nearly 95% of them using mobile phones, and 60.3% using smartphones. Gen X internet users are avid users of online content. They are the ones who are using social media platforms but on a monthly basis rather than daily basis. They are skeptical in nature and so are their digital behaviors. Thus, if they don’t like something, they would simply figure out something else (not necessarily digital) to do the same thing. Ergo, this generation is a bit difficult to tap when it comes to market tech-based services and platforms.
The digital behaviour of Gen Xers is generally influenced by the convenient purposes, such as online banking and shopping etc. Technology has yet to become central to their social lives, and this will likely remain the case. The gap isn’t dramatic between gen X and millenials. Gen X uses mobile app to book restaurants, to view directions and to compare prices of different products but they are not into streaming apps, listening music online, here the gap widens between gen X and millenials. As of now technology has started disrupting the traditional businesses and so is the potential to target this particular sector of audience. While Gen Xers are still learning from Gen Yers, you cannot really call them completely tech because they will never find it reasonable to use technology for everything happening in their lives.
Millennials and Technology
Smartphone has become the mass product among all age groups but millennials have been considered as the early adopters of this booming tech gadget. When looking at smartphone owners by age, penetration is the highest among Millennials aged 18-24, 98% of whom own smartphones. Representing a significant proportion – almost 23% – of the UK, Millennials are relying on their smartphones to act as a, somewhat, personal assistant in helping with their everyday activities and performing a number of practical functions. Whether it is surfing internet for searching some information, making an online purchase, using a loyalty program or taking a selfie and posting it on Instagram; they have an App or a web platform to make their lives more techy and happening, for that matter.
The above graph shows the online purchasing behaviour of various generations. The data clearly shows the millennials are actually driving the app industry because they don’t mind shelling out money for apps.
Gen Z: The Technology Age
Generation Zers are truly digital natives who are born in the tech world. One of the first groups of people to embrace new technologies are Generation Zers, who are sometimes called ‘post millennials’. Generation Zers spend more time online than any other generation. According to Statista, 35.5% spend an average of six to ten hours on a mobile device each day. It is their increasing consumption and need for the latest products that is encouraging tech companies to produce the most innovative products on the market at a faster rate. The “young ones” are actually now the disposable income decision makers who are your customers now. The below statistic shows an average of mobile usage % over an age demographic:
- (a) 18-24 (the so called “Gen Z” & start of Gen Y1) = 25%
- (b) 25-34 (the so called “Gen Y2”) = 28%
- (c) 35-44 (the so called “Gen X”) = 26%
- (d) 45+ (mix of Gen X and Baby Boomers) = 24%
Apparently, millennials have embraced the technology in the best possible ways. Clearly, tech and millennials are the most promising target audiences for businesses of today. That being said, Gen Xers are not lagging behind in any way. The best example is Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. If millenials are achieving the heights of technological advancements then we should not forgot that gen Xers are the ones that are paving the way for their success. On other hand, there is a lot more to come for Gen Zers, they will be the next generation users for sure.