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Gen Y says I Won’t Give Up Email or Texting

October 21, 2009

The PMN/Pace University’s Lubin School of Business’ Interactive and Direct Marketing (IDM) Lab just released a study on Gen Y and their technology usage.  Where better to analyze it than on our Gen Y marketing blog

They surveyed 203 Gen Yers and asked them: “Which would you least like to give up for a week”

The responses are as follows:

  • Email 26%
  • Text Messaging 26%
  • Talking on the phone 11%
  • Reading Magazines 7%
  • Watching TV 15%
  • Visiting social networking websites 9%
  • Visiting other websites 6%

The results show that those in Gen Y would least like to give up their email and text messaging for a week.  Pretty interesting for a Generation who built social networking.  I am not that surprised with the results though; they make sense.

I would have thought that email would be the most valued in this group set.  Email runs our lives.  The tail end of Gen Y is now starting to get close to college age and one thing becomes extremely important as soon as you hit college: email.  From college and on, email runs your life.  No Gen Yer could survive without email for a week in the real world (vacation time not included).  If you have a job, need a job or are looking for a job, email is key.

Texting is also very important to Gen Y.  Yes, we spend so much of our time on social networking sites but we have been texting for much longer than going on Facebook.  Text messaging paved the way for social networking.  Allowing you to send short but sweet messages to one another was revolutionary when it began.  Social networking just took it to a much grander level.  If someone gave me the choice of giving up Eggs or Chickens I would give up Chickens; I could always have an egg hatch.

[Ok so maybe that wasn’t the best analogy, but your get what I’m saying]

This also shows me that social networking doesn’t carry the necessity aspect that we all thought.  Yes we all NEED social networking, yes it is important to us, but our well-being isn’t at stake if we give it up.  If we give up the email, or phone, our lives would suffer.  If we give up posting to Twitter, I think we can survive.  It shows that social networking is a luxury to Gen Y, not a necessity.

One quip I have with the study is the sample size.  I’m sure they made it statistically significant but with millions of Gen Yers all over the country I would be happier with a sample size bigger than 203.  Someone needs to do a follow up study (maybe me).

Excuse me when I go check my email (my job depends on it)

Follow Todd on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/toddliss

Mashable article can be found here: http://mashable.com/2009/10/20/gen-y/

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