Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Parents Adapt to Texting

Once a generation's technology baseline is set, generally in their early twenties, all new technology becomes an adaptive experience. In other words, as adults, we will assess the new technology in terms of something we are already doing and evaluate whether or not it will improve the experience - make it easier, cheaper, quicker, more effective, etc. Based on that evaluation, we may give the new technology a try and continue if our expectations are met. Parents’ embracing of texting is a great example. AT&T released the results of a somewhat self-promoting study on texting habits of parents and children.

An interesting and predicable finding in terms of generational expectations was that, "text messaging has proved to be a powerful tool to help parents and kids close the communications gap," said Alecia Bridgwater, director of Messaging for AT&T's wireless unit. Also predictably, the study found a clear difference between the generations. Children text most often with their friends however, parents text most often with their children. That is because children are using texting as the preferred, innate, method of communicating with friends. Parents on the other hand are being forced to adapt to texting in order to communicate with their children.

Texting is solidly part of the current children's technology baseline as 84 percent find it easier than calling friends and 65 percent like the privacy - sadly no more eavesdropping mom and dad. I predict texting will continue to grow with parents as they begin to text each other. The more adaptive adoption that occurs with older generations the more texting will become common between adults who started because of their children. No, we will probably never be good with the texting lingo but it will serve a basic, quick communication need for us.

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