When I was 15 my chief concerns were sneaking cigarettes and my hair. I didn’t read the newspaper, rather I watched the TV news with my parents as bored as hell.
The Berlin Wall was to stand for another 5 years and Ronald Reagan was talking about God a lot, even though he didn’t go to church.
I was opinionated and selfish. Like most teenagers.
The announcement last week that some research about how teenagers consume media released by Morgan Stanley and written by a 15 year old intern was received with breathless excitement.
This kid had apparently clearly and succinctly identified the problem with media and worried European analysts who may or may not have just bought social media stock.
The kid, I may call him the savant, had claimed that teenagers do not read newspapers. Wow! Apparently they watch TV or get their news on the Internet.
Also, the savant and his friends reckon that advertising is “pointless”. Another amazing revelation!
He also claimed that Twitter is for old people not 15-year-olds.
The kids these days do not buy music, the download it for free – because they can.
They also love texting, or sexting if teenagers are still obsessed with sex the way I was.
The “old” media of TV, radio and newspapers are doomed according to the report. Shocking!
The young have always been cynical consumers of media. The fact that the “old” businesses are not relevant to them is a reflection of the short-sightedness of analysts and journalists. I know plenty of twenty, thirty and even forty year-olds who would consume media in the same way that our spoilt son of a banker.
The real issue is that newspapers, radio and to a lessor extent TV do not engage and entertain as much as You Tube, fmylife.com, the XBox or PlayStation or movies.
The “new” media places me in the centre of the universe, firmly in control of what I choose to engage with.
The old media could never offer this. It functions according to an elitist model of control and delivery. All consumers are passive subject, not active participants.
And the process has been happening for at least 10 years when our savant couldn’t spell consume, media or overblown hyperbole.