Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What You Can Learn From Your Kids If You Pay Attention

School has started in Arizona and this morning I was signing last minute releases and forms for our eleven year old who started middle school. On one of the forms she needed to fill in her email address, she challenged me on that and said that she never uses her email any more. I found that very odd since she is on the computer almost as much as I am. She is my go to IT person at home because she knows how to use the computers and internet better than anyone.

I asked her why she doesn't use email and she told me that she text messages and uses AIM instead. Interesting.....

Tonight, I had to pick up my oldest from her first high school social. While at dinner, I sent her a text and asked if I could pick her up early. Of course, she said no and wanted to be picked up at nine. I texted back "OK". At nine, when I got to the school I sent her another text telling her I was in the parking lot waiting for her. She sent back a note saying she would be right there. We never talked on our cell phones to each other.

While in the car going home we were discussing how she was planning on getting home from school tomorrow. She told me that she was getting together with an older friend of hers who drives and that she thought she could pick her up and take her home. She then went on to say that when she got home she would talk to her friend on Facebook and firm things up and then let me know what her plans were.

Wait a second! My little one doesn't use email and my older one doesn't talk on the cell phone. But they both are big into text messaging and social networking (AIM, MySpace, Facebook) as a normal way of communicating. What's going on here?

Then I was reading Fred Jacobs Blog today titled "Email Is For Old People" and it all became crystal clear. In it he sites research from the Bedroom Study and Jupiter Research which states ..........
"The rise of social networking activity, coupled with texting and incessant cell phone use, has created a notable decrease in the use of email".

To top it all off, Fran signed up for Facebook today and added me as a friend. How ironic. I'm living this research.

My point is that conventional forms of communication are rapidly changing and becoming obsolete for the younger generation. As broadcasters and marketers we need to understand what is going on and be proactive. The reality is, as much as we want to believe that we know what is going on, we can learn a lot from our kids. Talking with my girls is like having daily mini focus groups. Kids today are on the cutting edge of technology and communications! Talking with them helps me become more relevant and understand how to best communicate with our listeners and customers.

Read Fred Jacobs Blog "Email Is For Old People" Here:
Read The Bedroom Study Here:
Read The Jupiter Study Here:

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