“I am not young enough to know everything” Oscar Wilde

“Just had a flashback – Caesar the Boogieman?”

A friend posted this on Facebook over the weekend.  Chances are if you didn’t grow up in Kent in the Eighties, you have no idea who we are talking about, (he was a “popular” radio personality, whose show on Invicta FM was required listening).

Thinking about this made me remember in particular, how I spent ages wondering what he looked like, and I remember finally seeing his picture in the local paper.

When I remembered this, I had to check myself.  “Really?” (I thought on the train with my laptop, Blackberry and iPhone laid out in front of me).  How did I not know what he looked like?

And yes, remember that time in the Eighties and Nineties, my fellow children of the Seventies.  We didn’t have the internet.  We couldn’t just Google someone. This was an age before Wikipedia documented hundreds of people’s lives.

As researchers we often think about the implications of limitless technology and the impact that it has on society and younger generations.  At Ipsos we conducted a qual study last year, called Youth in Transition.  We interviewed young people, aged 16-24, who live in London and South East, about their lives today, and how they engage with Media and Technology.

The study found a group of young people who wanted to take responsibility for themselves, who felt they lived in a culture of meritocracy, which meant they felt more pressure but were focused on their future: a determined and realistic generation.  In line with our Technology Tracker, we also found they are all about Social Media.

When I was young we needed something that we could talk about next day in class, something we could do in the privacy of our own bedrooms, and Radio was our escape, our social currency.

And today’s social currency is Social Media.  Just like those who use it most, it is still a young media, but for teenagers it is what they’ve grown up with.

During Social Media Week, there were many discussions about how business can harness Social Media.  What excites me is when this generation of Social Media natives start working and innovating, and we move them out of their bedroom and into the boardroom.

Louise Brice is a Research Director at Ipsos ASI – the advertising research specialists

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