The C in "Generation C," not surprisingly, stands for connected. If you've ever been ignored by a twentysomething in an elevator who's too busy texting to hear your plea for a sixth-floor button push, you already know what Nielsen's getting at.
According to the 2011 U.S. Census, people in this newly labeled age group (formerly called Gen Y, or the Millennials, or Generation Next, or sometimes just "those kids with some college education who are largely unemployed but building iPhone apps in their spare time") make up just "23 percent of the U.S. population."
After crunching the numbers in its U.S. Digital Consumer Report for Q3-Q4 2011 (PDF), released today, Nielsen determined that this 23 percent "represent an outsized portion of consumers watching online video (27 percent), visiting social-networking/blog sites (27 percent), owning tablets (33 percent), and using a smartphone (39 percent)." (Smartphone and tablet owner information was taken from more than 300,000 surveyed volunteer participants.)
As a proud cable cutter who watches hours upon hours of streaming content; is on Twitter so much my boyfriend has tried (unsuccessfully) to ban it from the dinner table; owns an iPad "because I honestly need it for work and life"; and has a panic attack if my smartphone is farther than arm's length from my person, those stats sound about right. … Read more