We’ve all known for years kids are taking over their parents when it comes to sophisticated understanding of technology – but it’s becoming more real every day.

According to a new report from Ofcom, the British regulator for the communications industries, a six-year old, on average, has as much understanding as technology as someone forty years their senior.

Using a score called a “digital quotient”, the study found the 14-15 year olds have the greatest understanding of technology. After that, understand of new tech tends to drop off.

The study found six and seven year olds, who tend to use services such as YouTube and Spotify, have more familiarity with those services than someone in their forties.  It’s these kids who the study calls the “millennium generation”, having grown up with broadband internet and none of the pitfalls of earlier tech, such as dial-up connections.

As the Guardian points out, there are some key themes emerging from the data. More people are losing sleep due to their lack of technology, tablet use has doubled, and for those aged 16-24 year olds, only 50% of their screen time is taken up by live TV. For older demographics that number is 69%.

This shouldn’t be news to anyone paying attention to tech anywhere in the world. Our own Always-On customer report emphasises the importance of these trends – soon the dominant demographic in work and recreation will be digital natives.

This type of research simply underlines the importance of becoming a platform agnostic. With a demographic that constantly leapfrogs to the next and best technology, having a presence and a touch-point wherever they are becomes crucial.

This is the crux: technology isn’t just a tool. This report highlights once again it’s a way of life for a new wave of workers, business creators and consumers. New form factors are a way of life. The mistake would be ignoring its potential – the smart move would be to make sure innovation remains at the heart of whatever business venture you create.



John Riccio

John is a former partner at PwC Australia and the founder of Digital Pulse.

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