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

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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  • Evident right here (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Missing.Matter ( 1845576 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:43PM (#40263657)
    This is most evident on places like Slashdot, which are dominated by young males 18-35. From OSX to iOS to Windows 8 to Office 2010 and the Ribbon to the iPad to the iPhone to locked bootloaders on Android to custom Android skins (Sense etc.), almost every decision in mainstream tech is cast as "boneheaded" or "backwards" here. Yet almost everything Slashdot has a problem with, the general population eats it up.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 08, 2012 @06:43PM (#40263659)

    Great. Now women rule the internet too. This is clearly a much better situation, closer to the way the great feminist god intended it.
    Done. Good.

    Now leave me alone and let me tend to my garden.

  • Er... don't agree (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <> on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:04PM (#40263875) Homepage

    I have never met a member of the general population that liked the office ribbon. It confuses the hell out of my wife - which is a giant pain since it also confuses the hell out of me, who is usually her tech support. This results in routine 5-10 minute "find the option" sessions where we search for what used to be obvious. I predict a very similar reaction to Windows 8, just like Windows 7 confused the heck out of my wife and mom.

    The whole problem with these UX designers is they forget that it is 2012 and EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS HOW TO USE COMPUTERS, starting from 8 years old on!

    It doesn't matter if something is "easy to use for a novice" to computers when there are no novices remaining on the planet. It is much more important to KEEP CHANGE TO A MINIMUM. People in general do not deal well with change in something they are used to. Anyone who has assisted in an office-wide rollout of a new software program will attest to this.

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:20PM (#40264019)

    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.

    The internet has always been a communications technology, and women tend to communicate more in both frequency and diversity of content. But it's a leap to say that means women are more important. A lot of internet traffic is streaming media and bittorrent. Does that mean those are the first things people think of when you mention the internet? Probably not. Quantity doesn't always equate to importance.

    Conversely, men aged 18-35 have never been social movers and shakers; They're the grunts. Always have been. It's never been any different in IT than anywhere else... that age group is always used for something new and experimental because they're disposable. If young men throw away their lives in war, poor career choices, or develop work-related injuries, etc., we just give them a line about how honorable their sacrifice was and then lead them away from the public spotlight.

    I guess my point is that studies like this offer neither wisdom nor insight; The conclusions drawn invariably reflect our own prejudices. And they will continue to do so until the social expectations of men and women, young and old, etc., are equal.

  • by mrex ( 25183 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:25PM (#40264067)

    >Especially in Asia where students and women actually really want to work in IT and are good at it.

    Thank you for acknowledging that much of the problem isn't discrimination, but peoples' choices. It has always troubled me to hear people talk about how important it is to secure womens' rights, then in the next breath talk about all the ways society needs to impose different thinking on women and girls in order to make them do what we think is best for them. The reality is that there are not very many qualified female IT workers in the US because American women generally do not want to work in IT.

    Now someone will bring up social messaging and cultural attitudes towards gender roles, and blame society for the way most American women feel. Because that is totally respectful of women and not patronizing towards them at all.

  • Drivel (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pkinetics ( 549289 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @07:38PM (#40264203)

    This is basic diffusion model of business. Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, Laggards.

    Here's what I recall with the adoption trend of mobile device consumption.

    It started with the geeks, and then the guys.

    Then teenagers adopted it. Holy buckets, text messaging went through the roof.

    Smart devices came out. Mostly geeks, guys and the group of teenagers. Parents were still playing catch up to why their child sent 2000 text messages and now they owed $1k to the cell phone company.

    Social media explodes onto the seen. The teenagers are growing up. They are consuming and in turn demanding more enhancements. Companies are responding because they need to keep adding adopters.

    Social media became a status symbol. Note: I did not say cool. Cool is attitude, not imaginary friends, followers, tweets, etc. Cool is measured in binary, yes or no. There is no magical calculation that establishes cool. No amount of bling makes someone cool. You are either Fonzy or Richie. Analogy stolen from Dennis Miller.

    Now there are apps, web and mobile, for all social sharing for everyone. It is going from saturation to supersatured as the industry tries to secure all the late adopters.

    The next innovation is coming.

    Rinse repeat recycle.

  • by Cazekiel ( 1417893 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @10:38PM (#40265423)

    When I see it everywhere, yes, I start to take it a bit seriously. And I'm actually a very goofy person in day-to-day life. We're talking either get odd looks or make people guffaw goofy. But when you've dealt with sexism, yourself being the target at times in your daily life, you don't really care if someone thinks you're humorless when you point it out.

  • by strikethree ( 811449 ) on Friday June 08, 2012 @11:23PM (#40265623) Journal

    It has always troubled me to hear people talk about how important it is to secure womens' rights

    I will repeat this again: There is no such thing as womens' rights.

    Let that sink in for a minute...

    How did you react? Think about that.

    Now, think about this: There are rights that all Americans have. There are no special right for women, blacks, or any other group. If women are not being treated like people, then that needs to be addressed but it does NOT give them any special rights.

    Let me make that clear: All Americans have the same rights. If any Americans are having these rights being denied, then that needs to be addressed. Giving and "special" rights to any one sub-group takes away from the rights of everyone else.


  • by misexistentialist ( 1537887 ) on Saturday June 09, 2012 @08:11AM (#40267475)

    I had a friend who confessed to hitting her husband and thought it was okay; I told her it wasn't, flat-out.

    You talk the talk, but do you really transcend gender (to infinity and beyond!)? If your friend's husband hit her you would get her to call the police, help her apply for a retraining order, let her stay at your place or find her a shelter, find her a divorce lawyer, work with her to destroy him legally, etc. You would accept nothing less. When she hits her husband you say "that's no OK" and order her another margarita.

The person who can smile when something goes wrong has thought of someone to blame it on.