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Children Are Better Multi Taskers Than Parents

October 14th, 2009

Brilliant image pulled from the New York Times.  The whole article is worth the read, but I found an excerpt that is especially noteworthy:

A recent and much-discussed study showed decreased productivity in adults who were multitasking — or as Dr. Christakis put it, ‘The truth is you don’t really multitask, you just think you do; the brain can’t process two high-level cognitive things.’ What you are actually doing, he went on, is ‘oscillating between the two.’

So are teenagers any better at oscillating?

‘It may be that multitasking is more of a problem for us old brains,’ Professor Hobbs said. Dr. Christakis speculated that teenagers might have some advantages, partly because of their presumably greater mental dexterity and partly — ‘and this is the part we don’t understand,’ he said — ‘because they really have come of age with these technologies.‘”

Dr. Christakis goes on to make a VERY key statement: “Parents are digital immigrants…children are digital natives”  From a technology marketer’s perspective, this changes the game on how you skew your advertising.  Kids have always had a modicum of influence regarding certain household purchases.  With kids becoming more tech savvy than parents, it’s critical to ensure your message targeting includes them – they could make the difference between ‘good enough’ and ‘premium’ when it comes to the household making a brand decision.

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