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The word “digital” is being used to describe so many different facets of our lives, there is no longer a clear-cut definition of exactly what it entails. Depending on which generation you fall into you may have slowly adopted digital as technology advanced, or you may be raising digital natives who started using handheld devices as soon as they could form a grip. Any more it seems the term “digital” is putting more of an emphasis on mobility in our everyday lifestyle than it is on specific technology.

Not too long ago it was more about the tech in order to portray a certain lifestyle. Were you one of the cool kids in the 90’s who wore their pager like a badge of honor on their belt? Did you get to lug around a Motorola DynaTAC in your backpack to-and-from school each day like Zack Morris? Or, were you so hip your parents gave you a nearly indestructible Nokia cell phone with interchangeable faceplates (even though you only used your phone to play Snake)? Whichever high-tech gadget of the moment you were lucky enough to carry, you were likely old enough to have a driver’s license.

Generation Z is reaching their zenith of influence

Generation Z is reaching their zenith of influence

We’re living in a different digital landscape today. The demographic known as Generation Z was born in the mid-1990 to 2000s and are making a big impact. Google released a report this past March which identifies the digital behaviors of this key demographic – consisting of teenagers between 13-17 years old. (Don’t discredit this group, although they’re young they still make up for 26% of the population.) Of today’s teens, most received their first smartphone (more than something as simple as your Nokia) around 12 years old1. While this statistic may surprise some people, it’s a logical progression in technology based on society’s reliance on the Internet. Giving a kid their first smartphone is the reincarnation of giving a kid their first computer in the 90s.

Exactly what are they doing on their smartphones at age 12? Watching videos, as seven in 10 teens say they spend more than three hours per day watching mobile video1. Over the years video on demand has steadily driven video rental stores like Blockbuster into extinction, and movie theaters are suffering from plummeting attendance as a result of the almost instant access to new releases available online.

The hyper-mobile Millennial

 The hyper-mobile Millennial

Millennials are also shaping the digital landscape as we see it today through their constant use of online applications. Another analysis by Google reports 87% of this demographic have their smartphone at their side, day and night2. Although though they’re actively online, they’re spending less time in their buyer’s journey3 by being influenced by multi-channel product reviews, and more time seeking out personalized experiences.

This need for instant gratification and our always-on mentality is not necessarily a bad thing however. These behavioral trends have provided 64% of Millennials who reported having flexible working locations4. With the increase in young professionals becoming digital nomads, online content is no longer restricted to entertainment, it’s now directly relative to one’s livelihood.  The ability to setup virtual conferences with coworkers and clients has become heavily reliant on their Internet provider.

But mobile devices are only part of the equation

Fiber Internet is growing in demand as a result of these technological adaptations. The ability to surf, download, stream, chat and work on your schedule without the low-fidelity interruptions caused by outdated technology can only be facilitated by faster Internet speeds and reliable network connectivity. The best way to evolve is to help bring fiber – and Internet speeds of 1 Gbps – to your community, neighborhood, or even your fiberhood.

We’re rolling out our high speed network based on demand, so let us know your neighborhood wants fiber internet!

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1 Generation Z: New insights into the mobile-first mindset of teens
2 Win Every Micro-Moment With a Better Mobile Strategy
3 I-Want-To-Buy-It Moments: Mobile’s Growing Role in a Shopper’s Purchase Decision
4 Freelance flexibility with full-time stability: The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017

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