The world of technology is in constant motion. Video games launch every few days, social media apps come out with weekly updates and Apple manages to pump out a new, slimmer phone every September.
Our society is inundated with technological progress, and there are no signs that it is slowing down. In this age of fast innovation, everyone is a witness, but certain demographics are more influenced than others by the vast changes our technology is experiencing.
Generation Zers are often the first adopters of up-and-coming technology, while also being vocal about the tsunami of new inventions. Here are six reasons why Gen Z has the potential to shape the tech world.
1. Enormous consumption.
It’s no secret that today’s society hinges on a consumerist culture that devours products and services of all types. Gen Z stands at the forefront of this mass of hungry buyers.
With 35.5 percent of Gen Zers admitting to spending an average of six to 10 hours per day on their mobile devices, it’s no wonder that new technology is developing so quickly. Combine this insatiable appetite for new goods with the tech industry’s propensity for sending forth new gadgets with lightning speed and you have our current situation.
Consumer expectancy drives tech companies to constantly innovate, and constant innovation is what makes consumers expectant. It’s a continuous cycle in which each side feeds and shapes the other. As consumption burgeons, tech industries are encouraged to work at even greater speeds.
2. Instant demand.
As a society, we have become accustomed to instant gratification. Goods and services are almost immediately available and in constant supply, so we as consumers have grown used to instant demand.
Services such as Netflix, Hulu and VIDGO all offer content streaming, but the success of these services is not due solely to the popularity of digital streaming. The instantaneous nature of the new services is also attractive to consumers. In fact, according to Nielsen, 40 percent of Gen Zers plan to drop traditional pay TV service in favor of online-only options.
Instant demand can shape the habits of the tech world by further encouraging businesses to act quickly and publicize their newest products as soon as consumers tire of the old ones.
Related: Are You Ready for Gen Z?
3. Social media influence.
In our society, the Internet and social media pervade everything. Anyone can voice their opinions through these media outlets, and their availability only makes them more popular. A quick perusal of the internet and social media will turn up opinions and commentary on virtually any topic people are willing to talk about.
With Gen Z consumers thoroughly discussing everything there is to know about modern technology, tech companies are more driven to innovate and give the people of the internet more to talk about.
4. Independent coders.
Most of today’s consumers possess the power to voice their opinions to tech companies, and this can be a powerful way of getting their attention. What is less commonly recognized is the capacity of today’s consumers to create on their own.
With a wealth of information easily accessible on the internet, ordinary people willing to learn can follow in the footsteps of tech giants with ingenuity and determination.
As an example, many young people have learned how to create smartphone apps and websites, and have succeeded in marketing the products of their labor to much larger, better-equipped tech companies. Although programming remains a largely independent sphere, and does not have a significant presence in the classroom, earlier this year President Obama promised $4 billion of funding toward computer science in U.S. classrooms.
These changes, and the presence of websites like code.org, certainly strengthen the ability of individuals to innovate in programming.
5. Instant gratification.
Most of the technology on the market falls under the category of smartphones, tablets and laptops. The demographic most associated with smartphones and communications technology is Gen Z.
No other age group in our society uses social media, the internet and text messaging as frequently as Generation Z. A case study conducted by Tech.co found that 13 percent of all Gen Zers check their phone every few seconds, and as much as 14 percent uses their phones for more than 12 hours a day.
It is for these reasons that they are the target market for most tech companies; the whims and desires of Gen Z shape the tech world much more than those of other age groups.
As time progresses, tech companies are recognizing the trends in the desires of Gen Z and ultimately becoming more beholden to their cravings for new features, bigger screens, thinner phones and other innovations.
6. Generational divide.
Opinions on the usefulness and appropriateness of different technologies vary from age group to age group. While older consumers tend to view the new technology with a degree of skepticism, younger generations are much more welcoming of technological innovation.
In a study surveying a thousand people between the ages 14 and 69, Gen Zers overwhelmingly answered that 13 was an appropriate age to get a first smartphone; older generations more often suggested that 18 was a better age.
The generational divide in opinions on technology’s place in our lives can certainly influence the habits of tech companies.
With Gen Z the most frequent consumers of up-and-coming tech, the tech world is more inclined to create new products aimed at the younger generations.