September 21, 2012
Data point: Gen Z immersed in technology
Generation Z, the fledgling generation following the Millennials, can be considered the first true mobile mavens—taking for granted a world of smartphones, tablets and high-speed wireless Internet—as we note in our report Generation Z: Digital in Their DNA. This generation, born after 1995, is exposed to tech at a very early age. According to a study by Ipsos MediaCT, a growing number of parents are bringing connected devices into the home: For instance, households with kids aged 6–12 are more than twice as likely to buy a third generation iPad in the next year than other households.
One implication of this early exposure to tech is that Gen Z kids often prefer digital entertainment to social interaction. Ipsos found that kids 6–12 are slightly more likely to prefer playing their favorite video game than spending time with their favorite people. When it does come to socializing, a significant amount is done online. By age 12, just over half of kids have a social network presence, and a quarter of 9- and 10-year-olds have one. (Despite the fact that Facebook bars children under 13, a June study from Consumer Reports estimated that 5.6 million of them are on the social network.) While brands have many new ways to reach this digital generation, they will need to tread lightly. In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission has proposed new rules that limit how websites can track or target kids.