Those “yutes”, they are a changin’. Of course they are. Today’s high schoolers have grown up with computers and cell phones and most don’t remember not having them. High schoolers are the ultimate digitized consumers. Perhaps some remember “dial-up” and still have their original AOL accounts, but most have abandoned AOL. In fact many rarely use email at all and have moved to other digitized forms of communication.

According to The Nielsen Company (June 2011), today’s high school grads:

--Send 100 text messages per day! (Obviously as their parents, you must subscribe to the unlimited text plan or be crushed). This is more than twice as much as their 18-24 year old counterparts. So be careful in trying to lump all youth together.

--Talk on their cell phone sparingly. Roughly 17 minutes per day. Why talk when you can text?

--Are not addicted to TV. They watch 11 fewer hours per week than the average American

--However, are leading edge mobile video watchers. They view nearly 3 hours more than mobile users as a whole

--Live in the social media world. Roughly 4/5 visit social networks and blogs, and it’s increasing

Email is so yesterday, so yesterday for them. According to comScore, their data indicates the youngest Internet users are leading the way to abandoning email as a communication device. Twenty-four percent fewer people age 12 to 17 used Web-based email in the past year. Younger consumers use text, Facebook messages, video chat, twitter DM, etc. rather than “old fashioned” email.

Obviously their primary means of communication for today’s high schoolers is through their cell phones which have also become their bedtime sleeping companions. Furthermore, smartphones, along with their pricey data plans, are rapidly becoming standard fare for many high schoolers.

Once again the past is no longer a predictor of the future, and understanding how different age segments communicate is critical to successful marketing.