Teens + Tech

Technology has become an everyday staple in day-to-day life for the millennial (18-24 years-old) and Generation Z (13-17 years-old) generations. Many businesses are gearing their advertising campaigns towards social media. A 2011 Pew Research Center Study found that 95 percent of millennials own a cell phone. Cell phones are cool to teens, but not everything is. Using three research studies, Google conducted a survey of what’s cool among teenagers and millennials aged 13 to 24.

The survey, titled “It’s Lit; a guide to what teens think is cool”, seeks to give in insight into what is cool in the eyes of American teenagers. The findings report that technology reigns supreme as the coolest thing amongst Generation Z, with smartphones and Apple’s iOS platform as the coolest thing in technology. YouTube was ranked the coolest brand amongst Gen Z and millennials.

“I YouTube to listen to poetry and music a lot,” said Summer Durant, millennial junior psychology major at Georgetown University, as well as a participant in this year’s annual College Union Poetry Slam Invitational (CUPSI). “Sometimes, I’ll watch a few poems on the recommended list on the side [of the YouTube website],” said Durant.

Apple ranked as one of the coolest brands among both groups.

“I like iPhones for mostly aesthetic reasons, and I enjoy the cohesiveness between all Apple products,” said Nkechi Nwokorie, human science major also at Georgetown University. “I think iPhones are pretty and superior to any Android, plus the picture quality is amazing,” said Nwokorie.

Streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify and Hulu are also among the most popular brands for both groups. Video and music streaming is a leisurely activity for many teenagers. “I pay for Apple Music but frequently use the free version of Spotify. I think Spotify’s interface is better for making playlists and discovering music, but Apple Music doesn’t have a free version,” says Nwokorie. “Apple Music also drops albums first sometimes. I started using it because Chance the Rapper’s third album was a restricted release for a bit,” she continued. Chance the Rapper, coincidentally, ranked among the coolest celebrities in the study. With new iPhones and Android phones releasing every year, new monthly releases on Netflix, and new albums on streaming services, one thing is for certain; technology is here to stay with teenagers.


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