I put that in quotations, because....... what is "youth" anyway? I don't mean philosophically (I'm past that). I mean, where's the actual cutoff? Does it have to necessarily be at the magical age of 18 or, can it extend a little ways beyond that?
I'm leaning more toward the latter, at least for purposes of defining it for a media-based discussion.
A lot of those outside of that typical 18-under demographic nonetheless grew up similarly, if not from before age ten then certainly after it. The lesson tells us, for instance, that:
"About a quarter (26%) of the time young people are using one medium, they’re doing something else media-related at the same time (e.g., listening to music while using the computer, watching TV while reading a magazine)." (Ramos, Lesson 7)
Really, I think this is most prominent in the younger demographics, because these two generations really are the first to have experienced having so many options at their disposal. I know personally, even though I'm a good bit outside the 8-18-year-old range referenced in our lesson, I'm very rarely just using one medium at home. I usually always have the tv on along with the internet, and maybe some music here and there. I find as well that at places such as work, I usually have to have at least one option available. If something isn't, things just seem a little too "quiet."
Having none just seems, i don't know...... Amish. And I think I just need to pacify my attention deficit issues.........
Today's youth certainly is "growing up wired." But it's also the 20- and 30-somethings, and I can see it creeping upward into the rest of the populace as well. Not sure it's entirely a good thing (maybe you don't need wireless access for your laptop on your camping trip, ok?), but it's the new reality.
Ramos, J. (2008). "Lesson 7: The Young and the REST but not LESS: Targeting Youth and Multicultural Audiences with Emerging Media."