No WhatsApp makes the average teenager rude; No Internet, Anxious

|August 3, 2016 0
Digital seems to be integral to their identities and they are already open to embedded chips inside arms and 3D printing. Plus, they feel Internet is a human right.

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Internet connectivity is a vital sixth sense for many teenagers. Teens demand constant Internet connectivity, with 77 per cent of respondents (56 per cent globally) saying they are likely to feel anxious and alone if separated from the Internet – more than being separated from family. The value of Internet access is so significant that 75 per cent (55 per cent globally) strongly believe fast Internet access to be a human right.

Only a quarter of teenagers in India (versus 12 per cent globally) feel service providers understand their lifestyle and offer services to match it. Meanwhile, 36 per cent (30 per cent globally) report experiencing poor customer service from their service provider over the past year, while 49 per cent (46 per cent globally) say that as a result, they will not use the same provider again. Significantly, a third of respondents shared this information with family and friends, a study reveals.

Amdocs announced the results of a global study into the digital DNA, behavior and expectations of today’s teenagers (aged 15-18) with a study that reveals a fragile relationship between communications service providers and teens throughout the world, and in India in particular. It also highlights the role digital technology will play in the lives of a generation who see their future as digital beings as much as human beings.

More findings show that Digital is the lens through which teens view themselves and others: 71 per cent (43 per cent globally) believe their smartphone makes them smarter and ‘cooler’, while 68 per cent (52 per cent globally) check their social media accounts first thing in the morning. More than 60 per cent (31 per cent globally) say they would probably not meet someone again if they didn’t have a WhatsApp account.

Emojis are worth a thousand words: As a reflection of the increasing number of emojis supported by smartphone operating systems, seven in 10 respondents (47 per cent globally) say they prefer using emojis to sending emails, as they feel it allows them to express their feelings more clearly than words. A similar number said the same about posting photos (45 per cent globally).

Free content streaming is a way of life: A majority of respondents said they stream digital content across different platforms and formats. 70 per cent stream videos (61 per cent globally), reflecting streaming over downloads as the preferred platform. Only 20 per cent actually download content, which is slightly higher than in other markets (14 per cent). A similar number of respondents both in India and globally (54 versus 53 per cent) said they stream movies, whereas only 28 per cent in India (17 per cent globally) download them. And they are typically doing so for free.

Teens perceive content and app providers as ‘service providers’ and love them more: Although more than 80 per cent of respondents both in India and globally know who their service provider is, they also perceive over-the-top (OTT) players and Internet giants as service providers, despite them not being so.

Furthermore, when asked which companies they love, Indian teens ranked WhatsApp first (73 per cent), followed by Google and Facebook at (both 69 per cent). As a comparison, 56 per cent (36 per cent globally) said they loved their service provider.

Teens also want to harness technology to design their own experiences: Close to half of respondents want interactive services that offer design options that they can play with. Almost 67 per cent expect to be offered 3D printing technology to create tech accessories, while 76 per cent expect to be able to ‘visit’ new countries using virtual reality technology. In fact, teenagers’ connection to technology is so strong that 70 per cent say they aspire to be like Bill Gates – more than the numbers who aspire to be a cricketer or film actors.

Teens expect future technology to allow them to become digital beings as much as human beings: As many as 95 per cent of respondents expressed the desire to have an Internet-connected device embedded in their arm, with 47 per cent seeing it as a replacement for their smartphone. Meanwhile, 66 per cent believe many jobs will ultimately be replaced by robots, while 57 percent even believe a robot will become their best friend.

The study, which was commissioned by Amdocs, was conducted by Vanson Bourne, a technology market researcher provider, and advised by Dr. Paul Redmond, a generational expert and sociologist. It surveyed 4,250 respondents from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Brazil, India, Germany, Russia, Mexico, the Philippines, and Singapore.

“It’s fascinating how ‘digital’ is defining how teens are viewing both themselves and others, how they express themselves, as well as how they learn,” said Dr. Paul Redmond. “They require constant access and connectivity, and consume content differently than older generations. This is a ‘free content’ generation who love streaming and have no need for ownership. Service providers looking to maintain their competitive advantage must therefore start looking into new business models that will improve teen affinity to their brands.”

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