Technology through the generations: Call me maybe


This post is courtesy of MB London’s work experience guest Amrita.

Similar to how people say that a dog reflects their owner, I think it’s true that your phone reflects you!

In the 16 years since I was born there has been an epic shift in technology and I have developed an interest in how much this change has affected mobile phones in particular. They are no longer used just to call and send texts but also to take pictures, listen to music and play games with. My phone is my prized possession as I pretty much have my entire life on there; my Facebook, contacts, addresses, emails as well as photos. I think their main use nowadays overrides their original use, which was purely for calling and texting people. I use my mobile phone SO often that when I’m without it I feel as if I have lost a limb!

People from previous generations couldn’t rely on their phones when they were teenagers and so I wanted to compare how they use their phones today in comparison to people my age. Therefore I conducted an ‘experiment’ on how my friends, family, and the team at Moving Brands use their phones, and split the results into two age categories: teenagers and people aged over 25.

The first thing I noticed was that the quieter and more reserved people tended to use the internet and games for a longer period of time in comparison to more extroverted people. Similarly the people in my research who were more extroverted received more text messages and phone calls than the others.

When I studied the length of peoples’ messages (surprisingly people didn’t mind me snooping!) I found that it was the younger generation who sent short text messages in comparison to the older generations, and strangely it was the older generation who most commonly use ‘text speak’.

Every phone is capable of having a ringtone but I discovered that most of the adults I surveyed opted out of having one, instead choosing to keep their phone on vibrate or silent. This is unlike a lot of people my age that, who as long as they aren’t in school, had volume turned on. Likewise the older generation didn’t bother to change their default tone in comparison to the younger generation who mostly chose to customize theirs with a song. People younger than myself enjoyed changing their ringtones frequently to the newest songs.

I also looked at the music libraries on their phone and noticed that most adults didn’t store any music except on Spotify and radio apps, whereas people my age predominantly use the music library app.

However the biggest difference between the generations was clear when I compared the apps that they had on their phone. Primarily people my age enjoyed using Facebook, Temple Run 2 and Snapchat. In comparison the apps popular amongst the older generation were Instagram, Google Maps and Mail. This shows that they are more interested in their environment and surroundings whereas my friends and I prefer to know what’s going on between our social group and also to find distractions when we are bored!

Although there are many differences between the generations, one thing in common between them was the fact that when they are at home they prefer to use their mobile phone in preference to their computer when surfing the Internet. This shows that we are in a fast-paced society, where the speed is important. Similarly it also proves that people are using the internet as a part of daily routine whilst doing other things – as many people I asked said that they often use it when travelling and scroll through twitter while watching TV – and would be bored stiff without it!

From researching this topic I have discovered that some small personality traits can be suggested from your phone, and that you can also guess somebody’s age from scrolling through the various contents of the phone! I don’t expect my research to be 100% accurate but it’s provided me more of an insight into what mobiles and their contents mean!