How Technological Change Defines the Ethos, Device Preferences of Each Generation

By: | February 16th, 2016

What Generation Are You In?

Can you imagine rock and roll or Woodstock without electric guitars? Would the world have seen a Cold War without nuclear weapons? And would an “Arab Spring” have been possible without smartphones and mobile technology?

According to Merriam-Webster, “ethos” refers to “the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution.” Although we can never know which came first, the chicken or the egg, we can surmise that the ethos of a generation is largely determined by the predominant technology during its formative years.

The following graphic delineates the most recent generations: Maturists (pre-1945), Baby Boomers (1945-1960), Generation X (1961-1980), Generation Y (1981-1995), and Generation Z (born after 1995). Each successive generation is different with respect to their aspirations, their attitude toward technology, signature product, dominant communication media, communication preferences, and the way they make financial decisions.

The following Millward Brown Design infographic shows the device preferences of Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers. Each of these generations grew up with a different dominant communication media and communication preference, but each is using some form of the most up-to-date technology. Each group has its own preferences in how they like to experience and connect to the newest technology as well.

David Russell Schilling

David enjoys writing about high technology and its potential to make life better for all who inhabit planet earth.

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