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The 4-3-2-1 on Leadership from Retired Major General Vinny Boles

Kids and Social Media
Who's In Charge?

Yvonne-trans I'd like to say Moms and Dads are in charge, but studies prove otherwise. While we're not all giving in to our teens and tweens demands for cell phone, faster Internet connections, and the latest Miley Cyrus DVD, we are paying attention - and oftentimes leaning their way.

According to a Tween Report from 2005, created by Nickelodeon/Youth Intelligence, "tweens [are] firmly entrenched consumers. The 9-14 year old age group is swaying adults in bigger ticket purchases." The report from six years ago notes that 45% of tweens say they have influence on their family's computer purchases, and 78% have influence over family food shopping.

How does that hold up to today, you might wonder. I did.

Today, according to Marketing Daily, "Kids Influence Family's Use of Media" ... which isn't much of a change from that earlier report. This new report states that "humans are getting wired a lot earlier. The study says kids are pretty much digital sophisticates by age 12." Since I have a 12 year old granddaughter, I was pretty interested in this report.

Miah is certainly tech savvy when it comes to her cell phone! But, she's not all that savvy about herMiah-and-her-hat computer, or the Internet. At least, I haven't seen her show a lot of interest in the net, although she is beginning to blog. With help.

The article indicates, via a study from Ipsos OTX MediaCT that "marketers need to look at kids as more than just 'kids'." They need to consider the tweens and teens influence on Mom and Dad, and family purchasing. With Mom and Dad running hither and yon (helicopter parents and all), trying to keep up with family, work, leisure, whatever, we're now supposed to believe that they are turning to their kids for advice.

"Should we buy this?"

"What model should we buy?"

"What do you think?" are the questions the study seems to imply parents are asking.

I'm not so sure. My experience with kids this age is that they're the ones asking the questions. Sometimes of older siblings, but many times of us, and their parents. I don't have the details of how the study was conducted. Nor do I care. I am not ready to turn over my responsibility to my grandkids, and I know my kids are not ready to relinquish parental duties to their kids. Sure, we have smart kids, today.

But, savvy...I'm not so sure. Savvy, according to means, "Shrewdly informed; experienced and well-informed; canny." Knowledgable, I'll give the kids. Savvy...not yet.


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