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Home Blog FranklyStein How connected is your GenZer? — FranklyStein

How connected is your GenZer? — FranklyStein

Did you know that 1-in-4 GenZers are engaging with technology within 5 minutes of waking up and that the majority are connected within 30 minutes?

That was the first line of an e-mail I got at work last week. Once I figures out what a GenZer was, I realized they were talking about my oldest daughter. Gen Z’s are teens between the ages of 13 and 18 and the e-mail was about the results of a new study on GenZ Technology and Media Habits by Wikia and Ipsos Media CT.

Even before I got the e-mail, I’d noticed that when I go in to wake up my 14-year-old in the morning, she’s often laying in bed plugged into her iPod Touch — scanning Facebook or Instagram (at least before she gave it up for Lent) or texting with a friend. The study had her pegged on that front. Here are some of the other findings in the study:

• All (100%) are connected for 1+ hours per day, but about half (46%) are connected 10+ hours per day.

• There are few “sacred” times away from technology. Three-in-five (63%) say they are “unplugged” during work/school. However, only 44% say they are “unplugged” while at religious services, 44% say they are “unplugged” while doing homework/studying and 45% say they are “unplugged” while playing sports/exercising.

• Nearly half (47%) say they are more actively connected now than they were three months ago.

My daughter is definitely connected. She’s not plugged in at church or at school but when she’s home, I’d say she’s connected a good part of the time.

I try to equate her time texting, Skyping or on social media to the hours I spent on the phone with friends when I was her age. It’s how they communicate these days. A friend recently told me that her daughter didn’t have a phone and wasn’t getting one anytime soon. I used to think that way too. But then one summer I realized that everyone my daughter was hanging out with communicated by text. She never knew what was going on.

I told my friend that story, and it made her think. It’s hard to come to terms with how kids communicate these days. I’m still not sure I’m totally comfortable with it. Sometimes I worry that my daughter’s ability to communicate verbally will be impaired. And it’s so much easier to reveal too much when your writing, so I worry about that too.

So far things have been ok. She’s a great kid with lots of friends and she doesn’t seem to have trouble talking to kids or adults. I get lots of positive feedback about her, but I’m watching and I’m still worrying.

My tweens don’t have phones yet. They have to wait until they are 13, but Lilly has an iPod Touch. She can text when she’s in the house, but she doesn’t have a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account yet. That will come soon and I’m pretty sure she’ll end up just as connected as Maggie.

Adam has nothing. He doesn’t have an iPod Touch because he didn’t want to waste his Christmas and Birthday loot on one thing. He can’t even remember his e-mail password, so he’s pretty disconnected. If he wants to talk to someone he needs to pick up the old landline and call. But he’d rather just wander down the neighbor’s house and hangout. Sounds a lot like how it was when I was a kid. But I doubt it will last.

Click here for more FranklyStein.

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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 14, Lilly, 12, Adam, 12, and Jonah, 8.



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