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Why Young Males Are No Longer the Most Important Tech Demographic 240

Posted by Soulskill
from the too-easily-distracted dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Atlantic has an article discussing how 18- to 35-year-old males are losing their place as the most important demographic for tech adoption. 'Let me break out the categories where women are leading tech adoption: internet usage, mobile phone voice usage, mobile phone location-based services, text messaging, Skype, every social networking site aside from LinkedIn, all Internet-enabled devices, e-readers, health-care devices, and GPS. Also, because women still are the primary caretakers of children in many places, guess who controls which gadgets the young male and female members of the family get to purchase or even use?' The article points out that most of the tech industry hasn't figured this out yet — perhaps in part to a dearth of women running these companies."
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Why Young Males Are No Longer the Most Important Tech Demographic

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  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:39PM (#40263609)

    "Internet usage, mobile phone voice usage, mobile phone location-based services, text messaging, Skype, every social networking site aside from LinkedIn, all Internet-enabled devices, e-readers, health-care devices, and GPS." --- Most of these things all revolve around communicating with others. Daughters used to spend all their time talking on the phone (watch an old episode of Gidget for an example). Now it's texting on internet devices.

    Healthcare makes sense, since it's usually the mom that deals with sick kids. Ditto GPS/location services since they are driving the kids around. And e-readers are handy to use while waiting for the kids to finish with their doctor appointments or soccer games.

    I draw the line at buying some minivan or SUV though.
    I like my car.

  • Adoption, not use. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:39PM (#40263617) Journal

    The young male demographic has already adopted tech, so adoption will be low. New technology will be targeted at people who haven't adopted tech yet, because those markets aren't as saturated and competetive. It was bound to happen in a maturing industry. Young males still use more tech then females though.

  • by epyT-R (613989) on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:13PM (#40263957)

    This article and your post are both yet more examples of misandric garbage being passed off as science... the article written by a corporate 'empowered' woman of course, and who knows what your interest is, but I doubt it's as altruistic as you want the reader to believe. How many people here would believe an article written by a male saying that men are the be-all end all?

    It's not about offense.. it's about these ignorant people demanding that us geeks dumb things down to their level even when it's not really possible to do without sacrificing functionality that we need. There's nothing wrong with ignorance btw, because it implies that one could still want to learn. WILLFUL ignorance however, is THE issue of this society's problems today.

    Being part of a dominant consumer group is NOT the same thing as being tech-relevant, or even important in terms of trending new innovations. See, in order to innovate, there needs to be a group of people who are willing to take on early adoption. This is key... most of this is done by men. As to why, I could only guess that, but my limited understanding of psychology tells me that men are the ones who are more willing to take risks to differentiate and gain advantage. Read the list in the article.. all of those things had been used by men long before they were mainstream...ie when they were initially adopted for use. This piece is just an attempt at proving some sort of gynocentric ego.

    On top of that, women tend to more productive, even if they play Farmville during work time. Men do the same - they just play some other games, watch porn or talk about sports with their colleagues. On IT field it has been discovered that women's ability to multitask is a significant bonus. Men can only concentrate on one thing at a time. If something else happens, they get distracted. This is why you sometimes see people complaining about instant messages and emails during work - they cannot multitask.

    unbiased citation needed, from a study not run by people with huge political conflicts of interest. This is one of those memes that is a load of rubbish. It needs to die. BOTH genders have trouble 'multitasking'.. just ask anyone who's seen a woman driving an SUV while chatting on the cellphone.

  • by FrootLoops (1817694) on Friday June 08, 2012 @08:50PM (#40264729)

    My score on Multitask 2 [armorgames.com] disagrees with you. Practice also improves my play significantly. After not having played for months I only stayed alive for 85 seconds and I fell apart with 5 tasks. My record is 105 seconds with 6 things at once. After a while it's hard for me to gather enough visual information to play each game, and they all use keyboard input which overloads that part of my brain. Towards the end I can "think" what needs to be done, but not cause my fingers to do so quickly enough.

    I usually multitask when playing the piano. I...
      * Get fingers positioned right (both hands of course)
      * Decide on little touches like dynamics, stoccato, pedaling, rubato, what emotional content I want to convey, if any; I often make these up anew each time
      * Decide on changes to the piece, like different rhythms, extra grace notes, changed chords, etc.
      * Evaluate my playing--"missed note", "incorrect dynamics", "this emotional arc sucks", "I really like that passage at that speed", etc.
      * Perhaps read music
      * Let my mind wander, thinking about the day or interactions I had with someone or sometimes a math problem (to calibrate difficulty, I was fiddling with pointwise approximations of complex measurable functions by polynomials almost everywhere a while ago, and the non-null-homotopicness of a particular curve yesterday)
      * Listen to people if they're talking around me or listen to TV if it's on; I can tune these out if I wish

    Interestingly I can't respond verbally to someone while playing the piano. I can understand someone perfectly and think of a response (nodding if yes/no, for instance), but the verbal part of my brain seems to be engaged with the music. As a rule I can multitask somewhat on simple similar tasks and I can multitask to a large extent on unrelated tasks. Oh, I often juggle or otherwise occupy my hands while doing other things (eg. reading, thinking about math). I vary the patterns somewhat to keep that part of me from getting bored so it's not just tossing and catching in the same basic pattern forever.

    If none of this is multitasking to you, you'll have to clarify your use of the term.

  • by Shavano (2541114) on Friday June 08, 2012 @08:58PM (#40264779)

    There's a new subject for a poll right there:

    How many times have you gotten laid using Slashdot?

    • Sure, happens all the time.
    • Once or twice, but I'm trying to live it down.
    • I'm trying, but no success so far.
    • I met my husband/wife on Slashdot! So no...
    • It never happened, I swear.
  • by Cazekiel (1417893) on Friday June 08, 2012 @11:32PM (#40265677)

    No, actually, I wouldn't. In my workplace, we all routinely sexually-harass each other. If I WAS the type of person you're talking about, my boss would be enjoying two hots and a cot for a long, long time by now. I can very easily distinguish relatively innocent humor from actual misogyny. You can't judge everything I do or interpret in life from a comment I made. You're taking an extreme and placing it on me, someone who's just tired of flippant sexism.

    And as you say in your next comment, added to this, that's in your area. There was a case on Judge Judy years and years ago, involving a woman who tried getting out of a ticket; one of the factors she cited was that she'd seen him pull over "just women" and he was discriminating against her and women in general. As it turned out, they reviewed his pull-over record an found the opposite. Not by a wide margin, but it definitely made her look like an idiot. That applies to your argument; you see a woman on a phone make a driving-blunder, and another guy being responsible, and that means the stereotype is true? A tiny sample, not subject to test conditions is suddenly fact? I've seen the exact reverse--men plowing through a red, women being responsible. Many, many times. Each time I see this behavior, whether it's a man or woman, I say "idiot fuckin' drivers!" not "MEN!"

    My problem is the proliferation of sexist commentary, everywhere you look. It's growing exponentially. To me, the flippant nature of it is almost more dangerous, as it simply becomes customary and acceptable. I've got a tough enough skin to roll my eyes in most cases and just let it go, especially on the internet, but it's still annoying. In the end, does it need to be said? Why is it "You're too sensitive, get off the internet!"/"Grow some balls!" instead of "Why do people have to act like douches and insult other people?" I hear this argument so many, TOO many times. I suppose it's more acceptable to be snide, snarky and generally mean than trying to be a good person, even if it means you're a little sensitive and taking things seriously sometimes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 09, 2012 @05:15AM (#40266983)

    "Also, because women still are the primary caretakers of children in many places, guess who controls which gadgets the young male and female members of the family get to purchase or even use?"

    "The article points out that most of the tech industry hasn't figured this out yet â" perhaps in part to a dearth of women running these companies."

    Perhaps it's nothing to do with the industry figuring it out, but that in most relationships the couple have made the concious decision for the woman to be the homemaker, meaning that person is the one who can only make themselves available to work shorter hours.

    Seriously, it's the same old tiresome story, you get a feminist whine about how there aren't enough women CEOs etc. but the fact is that's because a sizeable portion of female staff are also the ones that want to knock off early to look after the kids etc. They just can't simply expect to have a flying career AND get to leave early/have every school holiday off/work part time or whatever as well. You just can't have people in important positions in the company who aren't there half the time, it's just not going to work.

    Equality has to be a two way thing, and will only arise from becoming a two way thing. I don't think I've ever met a man ever in my entire life that would not give someone a job "because she's female" contrary to the feminist rants suggesting there's some conspiracy where exactly that is the case. What needs to happen for a greater balance of women in higher positions, is that a more balance ratio of men and women are the homemakers, rather than the gross slant towards women in the moment eliminating a massive proportion of the female working base as potential candidates for high up roles.

    Me and my girlfriend aren't really bothered about having kids, and as a result she can work as long as she wants, and her career has flown along as a result, she puts in the hours of any man and has never seen anything that amounts to discrimination.

    Honestly, I've seen far far more problems in terms of ageism (both ways - i.e you're too young, as well as just you're too old) and homophobia than the zero instances of sex discrimination I've seen and heard about within any companies I've worked at. Time and effort needs to be spent solving those issues more than anything else.

    Maybe I've just been fortunate and everywhere I've worked has been good in terms of sex discrimination, though I doubt it, because I worked in public sector for years which was frankly the most homophobic, racist, ageist place I've ever worked, but sexism was never an issue, because if anything there were more female managers than male there for the most part. The places I've worked since have a roughly equal balance of male/female employees, and whilst I agree one female I work with currently is good enough to be deserving of more responsibility and more pay, I should note that there's also about 4 men in the same boat too so it would be hard to say she's being explicitly discriminated against, the problem is simply that they're all ready to move up and there are no positions for them currently.

    If women want careers equivalent to their male counterparts they need to choose between having kids, or making sure they're in a two way relationship where they're equally allowed the opportunity to grow their career and not be the homemaker.

    I agree with what you say, the article is really just a "I'm hard done by boo-fucking-hoo" type rant and offers nothing to the debate. If it was just an actual factual study about the usage of technology by different demographics and a historical comparison of how that's changed it might be of value, but no, it was nothing more than a pointless rant devoid of any meaningful facts and figures to back up it's argument.

  • by Ironhandx (1762146) on Saturday June 09, 2012 @07:44AM (#40267401)

    See, women in general from my experience seem to think that "being a good person" means being overly sensitive etc. as a sort of "well, I don't mind, but someone else might!". There are men like this too of course but most of them are gay men and the remainder are relatively speaking rare. Except in certain professions, such as psychologists, councilors, and politicians looking for votes et al.

    It really doesn't mean that however. Being a good person means being there to help someone through a rough time, or to help someone that IS overly sensitive to understand a situation that may have occurred and help them through it. Going through life with such a thin skin as to be offended by this sort of stuff is not a good thing. I understand if it gets to physical harassment or someone gets singled out etc, but the rest of it is just sort of, you know, guys complaining about their wives/women in general etc. Guys don't have the same sort of crazy databasing of "everything he's done wrong" that most women seem to have, so we tend to generalize more. We complain about women, and women complain about men, they're just more specific about it.

    Besides that, a LOT of men, best friends for years even, tend to insult and generally carry on with each other on a very regular basis. A lot of over-sensitive people can't even tell the difference, and I've had the comment said by many many women about some of my relationships as well as relationships they see around them, generally between men, of "You'd think they were mortal enemies".

    A lot of this comes from men and women internalizing things differently etc... however most of the actual harmful behavior towards women ended upwards of 20 years ago. Right now a LOT of men are pushing back against conforming to some of this bullshit. Whereas the minority, the real idiots and misogynists were the ones doing it before.

    Unfortunately this form of pushback causes some guys to just pick up some of the older, harmful ways of sexism, even though they don't really believe half of what they're saying.

    We as men, in general, and not as an absolute rule, internalized things a LOT differently. I had the unfortunate situation of growing up in a family where the women are all understanding and have a great sense of humor, and all thought it was great that I generally tend to say the first thing that comes to my mind. We're also a family that appreciates honesty, even to the point of brutality, which also doesn't help.

    This caused a lot of awkward situations as you might imagine. I sent several girls whose mothers I guess actually WERE like the woman I mentioned before off crying, without even knowing what the fuck I had done.

    Basically what I'm saying here is that there has to be some give and take. We as men should learn to control our mouths around you women a bit as we grow up, but you as women need to grow thicker skins as you grow up. It will never work as long as one group or the other demands absolute adaptation from the other. Previously we had the women being the ones forced to adapt and now we're getting to where more and more onus is being put on the men to adapt, when we're already doing what we can for the most part.

    I should also mention that men throw off the adaptation around other men, and for a long time the internet was 95%+ men in most of its dark corners. Some guys will push back because they're losing one of their few remaining bastions of sanity where they can say what they like.

    Whether women like to be treated as possessions or objects or not, men are genetically geared to be hunters and warriors. Hunters and warriors that got us to the very top of the food chain. That sort of gearing is closer to grizzly bear than bunny rabbit, and grizzlies view everything in the world around them as objects to be possessed. At least 99% of us understand that women are not, but you've got to cut us some slack for discussing them as such, especially in an environment where we may not think any women are around to hear. Women for the most part ARE completely foreign, but beautiful, to many of us. Thats not a dig at the slashdot community etc, I'm married and women are STILL completely foreign to me.

  • by Taevin (850923) on Saturday June 09, 2012 @11:37AM (#40268537)
    Let's just start with a short list of how you portray women in your post there:
    • Women are overly sensitive. The only men that are overly sensitive are gay (or if it's their profession to care/pretend to care).
    • Women are thin skinned.
    • The way women process interpersonal relationships is "crazy."
    • Women are too specific about their grievances.
    • Women internalize things incorrectly.
    • Women make the world insane, and sanity can only be achieved by hiding from them.
    • It's acceptable for men to treat women as possessions, or at least discuss them as such.
    • Women are completely foreign.

    Really, each one of these deserves at least a good paragraph of exposition but that's more than anyone will read or comprehend. I'm inclined to believe that your post is in earnest and that you didn't even notice writing these things and still may not even see what's wrong with them. That's the true nature of sexism: it's incredibly insidious and it pervades every single aspect of our society. As men, we have been taught since we were little boys about how men and women are different and the myriad ways women are inferior. Not directly, mind you. At least in my own experience, no guardian or role model has come out and said things like "women talk too much" or "they're terrible drivers." No one needed to however, because if you tell a lie enough it becomes the perceived truth and these little lies fly freely and masquerade as "jokes."

    So you're right, in a sense, about internalization: what men and women have internalized is quite different. See common "sense" like men are strong, hunters/warriors, dominant and natural leaders. Common "sense" about women is that they're weak/uncoordinated ("you throw like a girl!"), (overly) sensitive, and better at domestic activities. If you stray from these boundaries you are mercilessly attacked by your peers. Men who are sensitive are either gay or not real men. Women who are active or dominant are tomboys, dykes, or just plain bitches. So let me ask you: do you think any of this crap about women is actually true or just "the way it has always been so it must be true?"

    Regardless, if you continue to treat and expect women to be completely foreign to you, they will remain so.

  • by Gr8Apes (679165) on Saturday June 09, 2012 @03:48PM (#40269949)

    There was a study that there are about 4% of the population that are true multi-taskers. The tests were done regarding cell phone talking and driving. I do believe that a small group can do more than one task at a time, such as typing this message and holding a conversation.

    Good thing you remembered this nameless study, otherwise you'd have lost this argument! Phew!

    Good thing I can apparently google cell phone driving multitasking [google.com] in less than 5s and note the 3rd entry [nationalgeographic.com]

    I may have been lazy or in a hurry with the last post. You, however, should please turn in your geek card to the next real geek you meet.

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