I always and still wonder how digital we will be once we become parents. As parents, our lives will undoubtedly change as we alter and shift our priorities. But what does this mean for our digital nature? After all, Generation Y is a generation that has grown up and continues to grow digitally inclined. Will we carry on and evolve in our digital nature, creating families immersed in the digital world? Or will our smart phone and social media ways regress to be figments of our young adulthood?
Still in mainstream infancy, the social and mobile worlds have yet to be fully realized. With quick swings occurring and segment maturation being an unrecognizable reality at this moment, predicting what can happen next year, in 3 years, 5 years and in 10 is, frankly, impossible.
There has already been some debate over this last summer regarding the social media sharing characteristic of Gen-Y. But even then, I don’t see a future of sharing but rather one of growing connectivity. Trust me, there’s a significant difference between sharing and connecting.
Equally, I’ve brought up the idea that Gen-Y will unknowingly introduce to the world a series of Truman Show-esque children. Complete childhood’s will be recorded online for the world to see. And with friends, family and our long lost colleagues on Facebook, I’ve begun to see a strong influx of young mothers absolutely sharing everything about their young children. Whether this is positive, negative or meaningless remains to be seen. But it’s happening in a large series of circumstances where young Gen-Y mothers have had children. At least, in my experience of course.
All that being said, it’s common knowledge to know that mothers are affluent members of blog communities. Both as bloggers and readers. Commonly and most notably known as mommy bloggers. However, what is new and truly interesting is the findings behind how youth Gen-Y moms are communicating.
In pure Gen-Y fashion, these young mothers lead the way in phone, text and Facebook as methods of communicating with immediate family members. As a recent article via eMarketer reports, Gen-Y does them 21%, 14% and 10% of the time respectively. Further, their amount of in-person conversation with immediate family shows significant disparity from mothers older than them. In-person immediate family communication accounts for less than half of all Gen-Y mother communication at 48% in comparison to Gen-X at 58% and Baby Boomers at 62%.
So what does all this mean? Well, obviously, if the means are there we will use them, especially if they can instantaneously satisfy the situation at hand. Secondly, I can’t see dominating lifestyle factors, such as social media and mobile phones, which have been integrated into Gen-Y life, simply dissipating in a cold turkey like manner. And lastly, although there are clear privacy issues involved with the social and mobile worlds, we still trust these mediums enough to continually incorporate them into our lives.
I also understand that these characteristics aren’t necessarily exclusive to Gen-Y. Non Gen-Y mothers do the same things. I won’t deny that. The point here is not to indicate the similarities but rather, to show the notion that picking up a digital lifestyle is vastly different from growing up digital. And growing a digital family structure. And digitally grown parents parenting their digital children. We can hardly understand both the positive and negative implications here. Though, what is for certain here is Gen-Y moms are digital moms. Were we all really expecting everything to stay the same?