“I only use email to communicate with old people”

I often ask my younger cousins, sisters, and their friends about their internet usage, they consider me “old”. I ask them about which websites they use, how they learn about new products, and what influences them. In my casual ethnographic research, my kid sister in college recently told me two things that still resonate in my head.

My college age kid sister told me that:

“Out of my hundreds of friends, only ONE does not use facebook or myspace.”

She also shared her email usage:

“I only use email to get a hold of old people like you”

Great. Well from her perspective, I’m certainly older than she, nearly a decade, but to the rest of the workforce, I’m considered young. Marketers will need to learn how to communicate to this next generation, and this is why marketing dollars are moving to social networking and social media.

So what do they use to communicate? This podcast below from Jennifer’s Marketing Voices gives more details on how to communicate with this younger Generation Y, and eventually Z –the digital natives. Listen into Mary from Pew Internet Research, one of my favorite sites for North American internet data.

Pew has a research report available: “Social Networking Websites and Teens: An Overview