These days it’s hard to go anywhere without seeing someone distracted by a smartphone, tablet, MP3 player, or other device. Chances are also high that you, yourself, are addicted to some sort of gadgetry (admittedly I’ve been slightly obsessed with my NookColor lately). But could you live without those devices?
In our recent American Pulse™ survey, we asked 3,839 Americans 18+ what devices they could do without if need be, and the generation* gap in responses is quite wide. In fact, for every “new” device (think hand-held video games, eReaders, tablets, smartphones, etc.) we looked at, device dependency dwindles significantly with age:
So while the majority of Boomers and the Silent Generation said they could do without a Netbook, an MP3 player, or a smartphone, the majority of Gen Y implied they wouldn’t be able to part with these devices. The majority of Gen Xers wouldn’t be able to part ways with their smartphone either. Further, only half of Gen Y said they could do without their hand-held video games, eReaders, and tablets.
But what about more “traditional” devices (i.e. those that have been around a bit longer)? Interestingly, with the exception of laptops, dependency on more traditional devices increases with age rather than decreases. It seems as though Boomers and Silents are less likely to be able to do without digital cameras, radios, televisions, and basic cell phones than their younger counterparts:
While only a small portion of consumers, regardless of age, could do without these more traditional devices (suggesting all consumers are dependent on some level of technology), Gen X and Gen Y would have less trouble than the Silent Generation giving up these gadgets.
But why is this? Well, perhaps because if they were forced to do without these basic devices, Gen X and Gen Y could replace their digital camera and basic cell phone with their smartphone, their radio with their MP3 player, and their television with streaming video on their tablet.
Or at least that’s what I would do…
*For the purposes of this analysis, generations were defined as follows:
- Silent (born 1945 or earlier)
- Boomers (born 1946 – 1964)
- Gen X (born 1965 – 1982)
- Gen Y (born 1983 – 1993)
For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™
Source: American Pulse™ Survey, January 2012 #2, N=3,839
© 2012, Prosper®
BIGinsight™ and American Pulse™ are trademarks of Prosper Business Development Corp.
One of the more lively parts of our monthly survey is our What’s Hot/What’s Not section. Here, we ask respondents to rate a list of trends, personalities, events, etc. as “hot” or “not”; the items we ask about are based on input from our respondents from the previous month’s survey as well as a variety of current trending topics (i.e. expect Tim Tebow on the list in January 2012).
As 2011 comes to a close, we thought it’d be fun to take each and every item from our What’s Hot/What’s Not list for the year and compile the granddaddy of all “IT” lists: The Hottest Trends for 2011.1 So without further ado…
#10 Kindle Fire (Dec-11)2
This modestly priced tablet device quickly made Amazon.com’s bestseller list when it debuted in November. We’re just guessing here, but you can probably expect [quite] a few of these under the tree this year.
#9 Tablet Devices (Aug-11)3
Whether it’s the Kindle Fire, Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy, or any one of a number of other Tablet Devices, consumers were hot for these gadgets in 2011. (And, current Android tablet device owners should be sure to check out our free InsightCenter™ apps.)
#8 Solar Power (Jul-11)
Going green was definitely red hot this year, with Solar Power leading the conservation-minded pack.
#7 Sending a Text (Oct-11)
While this ain’t your grandparents’ favorite form of communication, Sending a Text bested both Sending an Email (#13) and Sending a Card through the Mail (#49) when we asked in October. BTW, Sending an Email is the favored communication among Adults 55+.
#6 Betty White (Feb-11)
For the lovely Ms. White, 2011 was a continuation of a hot streak enjoyed by the near-nonagenarian since her scene-stealing role in The Proposal. Here’s to a wonderful 2012…as well as another gig on SNL…for this Golden Girl. #loveyoubetty
#5 Cookouts (Jul-11)
What’s more American than Cookouts in July? Maybe apple pie, but desserts weren’t on the menu included in our CIA® surveys this year.
#4 Apple iPad (Dec-11)
While we didn’t survey apple pie, that other Apple – as in the iPad – dominated the devices we asked about this year. December was the second time in 2011 we asked about the iPad…the first was in April (#21), so this device picked up steam as the year wound down. The aforementioned Kindle Fire (#10) as well as the Nook Tablet (#47, Dec-11) were the other specific tablet devices we surveyed this year.
#3 Having a Full-Time Job (Oct-11)
It’s a sure barometer of our economic health when the temperature’s this high on holding down full-time employment. Let’s hope that the 2012 job market is more prosperous.
#2 Giving Thanks (Nov-11)
While Black Friday (#14, Nov-11) is increasingly giving Thanksgiving a run for its money, simply Giving Thanks was the second hottest item on our list this year.
#1 Super Bowl XLV (Feb-11)
Is the 2011 Packer-Steelers match-up – and the most-watched TV program in U.S. history – a surprise to anyone? Even if you’re not into football, plenty of consumers used Super Bowl XLV as an excuse to view hotly-anticipated commercials, get together with friends, and enjoy the halftime entertainment.
Who were the hottest personalities for 2011? How about the top trends in fashion, entertainment, gadgetry, and going green? Stay tuned in the coming weeks for additional blog releases on this data.
Do you have a suggestion for the 2012 What’s Hot/What’s Not list or see anything surprising in this Top 10 list? Please leave a comment below.
And, for more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.
1 The Hottest Trends for 2011 is limited to the 145 trends, personalities, events, etc. that were included in one of the 12 2011 Consumer Intentions & Actions® Surveys. Looking for Ryan Gosling, Charlie Sheen, Pippa Middleton, Keurig Coffee Makers, Occupy Wall Street, or Groupon? We got ‘em. Sorry about your luck on George Clooney, Zooey Deschanel, beach vacations, any of the Real Housewives, or Sperry Topsiders; they just didn’t make the our cut this year.
2 The month/year each item was asked is denoted in parenthesis (MMM-YY).
3 Tablet Devices were also included in the What’s Hot/What’s Not section in Nov-11, landing at #15 on the Hottest Trends for 2011 list.
© 2011, Prosper®
BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development