The clear difference between Generation Y and Generation X, has been revealed in what is being claimed as the largest technology survey of North American consumers.
The 2008 North American Technographics Benchmark survey from Forrester Research, show Gen Xers use technology when it supports a lifestyle need.
Meanwhile technology is so deeply embedded into everything Gen Yers do that they are truly the first native online population.
"Gen Y is the audience that most companies are struggling to understand right now because it's key to their future revenue growth," said Charles Golvin, principal analyst at Forrester Research.
According to the report, although Gen Y is a small generation of 18- to 28-year-olds, comprising only 38 million US adults, it sets the pace for technology adoption.
Nine in 10 Gen Yers own a PC, and 82 per cent own a mobile phone.
But it's technology use that sets this generation apart: Gen Y spends more time online — for leisure or work — than watching TV.
Seventy-two percent of Gen Y mobile phone owners send or receive text messages, and 42 percent of online Gen Yers watch Internet video at least monthly.
In contrast, Gen X, which is comprised of 29- to 42-year-olds — 63 million US adults — uses technology when it intersects with a personal need or fulfills a desire.
For example, 32 per cent of Gen X households own an HDTV, and 29 per cent have a DVR. In the past three months, 69 per cent of online Gen Xers shopped online, and 65 percent banked online, higher percentages than any other generation.
Gen X is also ramping up its Internet and mobile activities, including reading blogs (21 per cent of online Gen Xers do it at least monthly, up from 15 per cent in 2007) and texting (61 percent of Gen X mobile subscribers do it today, up from 49 per cent in 2007).
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