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Will Cell Phones Kill Earth Day?

April 19, 2016 Comments off

New Plants Earth Day

Friday, April 22nd is Earth Day! There are more than 341.6 million mobile connections in the U.S. and our population stands at about 322.9 million people. There are now more cell phones than people. And, it’s growing! We must ask ourselves some really tough questions about what to do with all of the electronic trash created.

This Earth Day, I encourage you to e-cycle your old cell phones and used electronics on Earth Day. Attend a local e-cycling event. Take Action to communicate the need to protect Mother Earth.

What will you do for the Earth on Earth Day? I encourage you to paste the following message on your social media pages in support of Earth Day:

Will 7.7 Billion Cell Phones Kill Earth Day? Read more @ http://bit.ly/1SsDVYY Recycle locally @ http://bit.ly/1NzlMRF #EarthDay

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How Teens are Communicating Today

October 25, 2010 Comments off

I have a nine month old grandson, who is at that stage where he babbles, giggles and appears to know what he is saying, but does not speak yet. He is utterly adorable to watch as he trys to learn to mouth sounds.

My four year old grandson on the other hand, is a chatter box. He will soon be of school age.

Both are as we call them today digital natives.   The four year old already calls me to talk on the cell phone, as he knows my speed dial number. He likes calling his Nanna.  He can’t even read or write yet. But, he uses a cell phone already. 

Teens, well that is an altogether differnt story.  Mine, they are now young adults and they actually want talk to me now instead of just hanging out with their teen friends like they used to do.

My own children did not initially grow up with all this social media or cell phones. The phone hung on a wall in the kitchen and they did have to learn how to write handwritten letters to people.  Times have changed.

But, now with all the social nessnessness of ever changing enabling technologies out there, it’s getting pretty evident that you just can’t hang out “everywhere” on the Internet. There are just way too many sites to keep up.

To reach out and to educate or inform people about important issues is getting tough as well. Which site do you go to and where for the best and most correct information? It is indeed a slippery slope. 

Case in point #1: Whose reading newspapers?  Predominantly, it is not teens, but, if they were how in the heck would they be able to sift through the slippery slop of different presentations with all the slanted information and figure what is the most correct information? How would you help youth sort out all that information, and let’s say do a social studies report on it??? How would you communicate important news to children at their level in newspapers? TV news hours?

Case in point #2: There are so many channels. Which channels are you on? Which Channels are youth using? “Everyone’s on Foursquare, and everyone’s on this and everyone’s on that,” says Xianhang Zhang, a researcher with “social design” firm Bumblebee Labs, which studies innovation and social mores. “A lot of time they don’t even know why,” he confides. “They just feel like they should be.”  He’s also hearing a lot about Quora.com now, a Wikipedia-like network based on user-generated questions and answers. Quora and Hunch.com — which recommends sites based on what you already like — might be the next destinations the tech-savvy feel compelled to add to their personal browsing itineraries.

But, if you want to do outreach say to reach a significant number of youth across America, then studying how they communicate today is vital. PEW has some great studies and insights, btw.

And, you won’t reach most of youth if you are simpling creating informational sheets, a web page loaded with scads and scads of files or documents to try to find or sift through, doing print ads in newspapers, radio PSAs, Twitter, or Blog campaigns. Wrong Mediums and Channels altogether.   Surprised?

Well, it’s not surprising that daily text messaging among American teens has shot up. Way UP!  For example, over the course of 18 months,  from February of 2008 to September 2009 they numbers rose from 38% to  54% of teens texting daily. It is now November 2010 and I bet that number is even higher.

And it’s not just frequency – teens are sending enormous quantities of text messages a day (1,500 to 3,500 messages a month).

Get this, half of teens send 50 or more text messages each day, or 1,500 texts a month, and one in three send more than 100 texts a day, or more than 3,000 texts a month. Older teen girls ages 14-17 lead the charge on text messaging, averaging 100 messages a day for the entire cohort.

Hmmm, no surprise here, that the youngest of teen boys are the most resistant to texting – only averaging 20 messages per day.

If you want to build tools and reach youth, then I might suggest strategically developing a viral MMS campaign or SMS campaign. I have previously posted about which companies are doing this sort of work. 

Here’s why.

 Text messaging has become the primary way that teens reach their friends, surpassing face-to-face contact, email, instant messaging and voice calling as the go-to daily communication tool for this age group. However, voice calling is still the preferred mode for reaching parents for most teens.

So the next question is just screaming to be asked….if so much communication is being done via the cell phone and text messaging by teens, then can we reach youth by emphasizing more interactive MMS design thinking, MMS games and mobile education simulations, user experience designs, mobile social media marketing and outreach, 3D and virtual environments, and related disciplines? 

Are there others who are out there wanting collaborative teams for the development of important solutions for youth, and youth design-based solutions all the way up to solving bigger problems?

Here are some other links on recent research about How Youth / Teens are communicating.

1) Cell Phone Use and Teens: PPT Slides http://slidesha.re/dvH1iJ, Article http://bit.ly/aCtxUn

2) Social Media & Young Adults: http://bit.ly/b022ZP

3) Teen and Mobile Phones: http://bit.ly/daj263

4) Latino Youth: http://bit.ly/b4yWC7

5) 100 Best Apps for Learning: http://bit.ly/9n4ksh 

A website to view website audience demographics ://www.quantcast.com

More About the Parent-Teen Cell Phone Survey

This study is based on the 2009 Parent-Teen Cell Phone Survey which obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 800 teens age 12-to-17 years-old and their parents living in the continental United States and on 9 focus groups conducted in 4 U.S. cities in June and October 2009 with teens between the ages of 12 and 18.

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. The interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source, LLC from June 26 to September 24, 2009.

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