College Students Riding the “Connected” Wave

College Students Riding the “Connected” Wave.

How College Students Shop and What They Buy

“According to a survey of college students in the US, conducted by Harris Interactive for Alloy 360 Youth, 93% of college students go online in a given month. Harris surveyed over 2,000 college students between the ages of 18 and 30 and reported that college students were responsible for $210 billion in sales in 2002. As for their shopping behavior, Harris finds that 94% think that a good selection is important when shopping whereas just 27% are looking for specific brands….

College students are also highly likely to own a number of consumer electronic products. Harris determined that 88% have a personal computer (PC), 67% have a cellphone ad 85% own a television.” [eMarketer Daily]

Even though this report was done for marketers and I never fully trust numbers that come from such studies, I'm fascinated by the statistic that more college students own a personal computer than own a television. And 67% of them have cell phones. In fact, if you visit the Harris Interactive summary of the survey, it elaborates on that last point to note that 67% of them have cell phones and 36% use them to access the internet. Do you know anyone that uses their cell phone to access the internet? I don't, and that includes me (yet).

Today at lunch, Diane, Kate, and I had an interesting conversation about when “instant gratification” became such a cornerstone of our society. Kate says it was the remote control, while Diane thinks it was computers. I brought up James Gleick's book Faster (which I highly recommend) and decided on the telephone. But imagine the changes we're going to witness when the current 67% of college students with cell phones enters the work force. As Carrie Fisher noted in Postcards from the Edge, “instant gratification takes too long.”

These days, when I walk around the building at work or help staff members with computer problems, I see a lot more chat programs on their desktops. Chat programs that they've installed themselves in order to stay in touch with friends and family. Cross Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, and NetGens with chat and cell phones and you'd better fasten your seat belt over the next couple of years.  [The Shifted Librarian]

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