The Generation of Connectivity: New Youth Defined by Technology

Nielsen says the demographic of 18- to 34-year-olds previously known as Generation Y would be more aptly called Generation C. The C stands for “connected,” a nod to the group’s affinity for all things technology and the high likelihood that members of the generation are digitally connected at all times. Although it may not be news to anyone, Nielsen and NM Incite’s U.S. Digital Consumer Report found that the demographic consumed media, socialized, and shared experiences through devices more than any other age group.

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According to the report, although the 18-to-34 crowd makes up 23 percent of the population, they account for 27 percent videos watched online, 27 percent of social media activity, 33 percent of tablet users, and 39 percent of smartphones. On the other hand, Generation C accounts for 23 percent of TV watched, in exact proportion with their percentage of the total population.

The Nielsen report said of the demographic: “Their ownership and use of connected devices makes them incredibly unique consumers, representing both a challenge and opportunity for marketers and content providers alike. Generation C is engaging in new ways and there are more touch points for marketers to reach them.”

In addition to singling out Generation C, the Nielsen report also found several other notable data points. Women and men split the smartphone market 50/50, but men own 53 percent of tablets, while women watch slightly more TV, are more active on social media sites, and watch more online videos than their male counterparts. The report also showed that Caucasian consumers own about 60 percent of all smartphones and tablets and watch roughly three quarters of all TV and online videos. The Caucasian demographic accounted for 79 percent of social media activity and blog visitors.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Ashley Cloninger at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at