Generational Perceptions On Innovation Differ

from the keep-those-landlines dept

It's probably not a huge surprise to most people that teenagers and adults have some differing opinions on the direction innovation will take, but some of the points may be surprising. While most people in both groups felt the gasoline-powered car and standard computer desktop weren't going anywhere over the next decade, a lot more of the teens were willing to entertain that both would be replaced in that time frame. The kids are also strong believers in how technology can solve our problems, with high percentages believing technology would successful deal with problems such as clean water, pollution, disease and hunger. Of course, it's not clear how the questions were worded. Did they mean eradicate the problems or simply improve the situation? There's a big difference there. It's good to see teens so optimistic, but the report also found that few of the teens expects to go into a field that might aid in solving any of these issues -- though that may not be as big a problem as the article suggests. You only need a small percentage of really bright problem solvers to work on these problems -- not everyone.

However, perhaps the most surprising split was when it came to the landline telephone -- something that study after study after study has suggested kids just don't use any more, as they communicate mostly by mobile phone and instant messaging. Yet, according to the report on the study, 45% of adults think the landline phone is going to be extinct within a decade, while only 17% of teens buy that. This seems surprising at both ends. You would think many more adults would expect landlines to keep kicking, even if their market share dwindled, for much more than a decade. However, since fewer kids will ever use a landline, you would think they might be more optimistic about how long it would take an older generation to ditch their phones. The group who did the survey have a press release up with a few more details, but the actual survey still isn't totally clear. The press release, though, also shows that teens are pretty confident in their problem solving, creativity, teamwork and leadership skills -- but very few feel that they have enough training to be fiscally smart with their own money.

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  1. identicon
    Bob, 12 Jan 2006 @ 12:23am


    Adults simply have a greater memory and experiences to draw from, as a measure for comparison than a teen would have. Someone who lives only a year, as opposed to someone who lives a hundred years would have vastly different scales of comparison, on everything.

    So the results are not surprising, actually they seem expected.

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