3 Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Trends

Here come the next ones: What dif­fer­en­ti­ates Gen­er­a­tions Y and Z? Plus: Face­book loses pop­u­lar­ity, the in­for­ma­tion gap widens, what’s hot and what’s not?

Bulletin - - Credit Suisse Youth Barometer -

This year’s Youth Barom­e­ter pro­vides the in­for­ma­tion nec­es­sary to make ini­tial com­par­isons be­tween Gen­er­a­tion Y (born be­tween 1980 and 2000) and Gen­er­a­tion Z (born af­ter 2000). All of those sur­veyed can be con­sid­ered “dig­i­tal na­tives” who spend a great deal of time on­line – and so, ac­cord­ingly, these dif­fer­ences are ev­i­dent first and fore­most in dig­i­tal us­age pat­terns. The pre­ferred plat­forms for Gen­er­a­tion Y in­clude Twit­ter, Face­book and the in­ter­net in gen­eral, and they even watch tele­vi­sion some­times. The younger Gen­er­a­tion Z, in con­trast, en­joys spend­ing time on In­sta­gram, Snapchat, What­sapp and Youtube.

A po­lar­iza­tion in how both of these gen­er­a­tions gather in­for­ma­tion is ev­i­dent in Switzer­land → Fig­ure 3.1 (next page). The good news: Young peo­ple ac­cess­ing in­for­ma­tion about what is hap­pen­ing in the world mul­ti­ple times ev­ery day grew from 29 to 38 per­cent since 2010. When seen to­gether with the next two groups (“ac­cess in­for­ma­tion once a day,” “ac­cess in­for­ma­tion sev­eral times per week”), then four out of five young peo­ple are rel­a­tively well-in­formed about cur­rent events.

The not-so-good news: The group of young peo­ple who ac­cess that in­for­ma­tion only once weekly, even less fre­quently or never at all also grew since 2010 – from

Plat­form by age: GEN­ER­A­TION Y: Twit­ter, Face­book, TV, in­ter­net GEN­ER­A­TION Z: In­sta­gram, Snapchat, What­sapp, Youtube

12 to 19 per­cent. In other words, one out of ev­ery five young peo­ple lacks any sub­stan­tial in­for­ma­tion about what is go­ing on in the world. The study also ex­am­ined where the 16- to 25-year-old Swiss peo­ple col­lect in­for­ma­tion about world events → Fig­ure 3.2. Prac­ti­cally all me­dia saw a de­cline in pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent years, but none more than the free print news­pa­pers such as “20 Minuten” and “Blick am Abend” – up un­til 2016, these had been some­thing like guide­posts for this gen­er­a­tion. This does not mean that the af­fected news­pa­pers lost read­er­ship, as it ap­pears that printed news­pa­pers are of­ten re­placed by dig­i­tal pub­li­ca­tions. News sites and dig­i­tal news­pa­pers are now most fa­vored by young peo­ple, fol­lowed by news apps for smart­phones and tablets.

Tele­vi­sion and paid news­pa­pers lost half of their au­di­ence since 2010. Ra­dio man­aged to hold steady un­til 2015 and has lost pop­u­lar­ity rapidly since then. But the loss af­fected not more than just the tra­di­tional me­dia. The use of Face­book as a source of in­for­ma­tion grew from 2010 to 2015, and its sig­nif­i­cance has dwin­dled ever since. A ma­jor study con­ducted by the Reuters In­sti­tute (Dig­i­tal News Re­port 2018) re­cently came to the

In all coun­tries, 80 per­cent of young peo­ple in all coun­tries spend two hours on­line ev­ery day. And of­ten a lot more than that.

same con­clu­sion. On the one hand, Face­book has fallen out of fa­vor among young peo­ple (see next sec­tion), yet on the other hand, the plat­form it­self pri­or­i­tizes user-gen­er­ated con­tent more highly than pro­fes­sional con­tent. In any case, the Youth Barom­e­ter clearly shows how fast this new world is turn­ing and how deep brand loy­alty runs. The next plat­form is al­ways just a click away.

What is cur­rently hot, what is not ? The in­ter­net is a must for ev­ery­thing that is con­sid­ered to be “in,” since 80 per­cent of young peo­ple in all coun­tries spend two hours or longer on­line ev­ery day. In young peo­ple’s hit lists → Fig­ure 3.3, the smart­phone ranks at the top (Switzer­land) or sec­ond place (US, Sin­ga­pore) What­sapp, Youtube, Net­flix and email are also “in.” Face­book is pop­u­lar, too, al­though it has fallen some­what out of fa­vor among young peo­ple. In Switzer­land, it has even dis­ap­peared from the top ten list.

For the things young peo­ple con­sider to be “out,” there is strong par­al­lel across coun­tries. Mo­bile phones without in­ter­net (“dumb­phones”), smok­ing and drugs are un­pop­u­lar, as are po­lit­i­cal par­ties. Just one distinctive lo­cal fea­ture for each coun­try: Prac­tic­ing one’s re­li­gion is con­sid­ered un­cool in Switzer­land. E-bikes are out, or at least not yet “in” in the US. In Brazil, you don’t fol­low celebrities on so­cial me­dia, and en­gag­ing in many sex­ual en­coun­ters is frowned upon in Sin­ga­pore.

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