Future communicators: Short form is their method and mobile is their medium.

Business Insider recently published the findings of an intriguing Nielsen, Ericsson, McAfee, and Common Sense Media massive research report called: “The Secret Lives Of Teenagers Online.”  The report details findings about how teens deal with online privacy and what social media platforms they use. I don’t agree with all the conclusions but there are two slides in the report that are fascinating to me, yet may frighten some current traditional employers.

Teens use of social and digital comms

Source: Common Sense Media

My conclusions: Teens communicate every day. No, I’m serious. They talk, chat, tell jokes, etc.  But, the difference is that they do not – and I believe will not – communicate in ways that their parents and grandparents have. Don’t even think about phone calls. The ‘phone’ app for most teens is optional. Just ask parents who have a teenager how many phone calls they receive a month from their teen. On average it’s between 2 and 5.

Communicating and writing in short form (think 140 characters) is an art form though. The benefit is that messages are concise and to the point.

Why don’t teens use email like their parents? After all, it’s a digital communication channel, right? Yes, but the problem is that email is long form to teens. They want back and forth in a real-time conversation thread.

The future mobile workforce is right now learning that the best way to communicate is with two thumbs. And those thumbs do a LOT of talking.

Patrick Goodman
Red e App Product and Engagement Director

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