by Meagan Dorsch
Nielsen, the company that tracks our television viewing habits, is now looking at ways we consume media on everything digital. According to the ratings company, Americans between the ages of 18-34 are redefining how media is consumed. So Nielsen is redefining what they are called.
Nielsen has now classified Millennials as "Generation C."
Nielsen says this age group (born between the launch of the VCR and the Internet), is taking online personal connections to a new level, with new devices and new experiences like no other generation. According to Nielsen's blog, the U.S. Census says Generation C is roughly 23 percent of the population, but represents:
- 27 percent of consumers who watch online video and visit social networking/blog sites
- 33 percent of Americans who own tablet devices
- 39 percent of the consumers using smart phones.
But don't discount the use of technology by older generations. The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project has some great data on how older adults use the Internet and social media. According to Pew, the use of social networking sites among Internet users age 65 and older has grown 150 percent over the last two years. During this same period, Internet use by 50-64 year-olds doubled—from 25% to 51%. More than half of all 50 to 60 year olds use their cell phones to take pictures and 22 percent of 30 to 45 year olds use their phone for online banking.
NCSL has also identified over 500 state legislators on Twitter (look under our lists) who typically fall into older demographics.
But will this reclassification of Millennials catch on? A simple search on Twitter shows a mixed response. NCSL has developed a networking group for people in this newly classified generation. The mission of NCSL's Young Professionals group is to engage, educate, and support these state legislative leaders of tomorrow through professional development, networking opportunities and recognition.
Future state legislators and staff increasingly will come from this generation, and all will be considered digital natives. The way these generations will communicate with each other, and their constituents, will change the nature of the legislative process. Regardless of what they are called, younger generations will bring great technological and communication advances to the legislative institution.