The Shine Goes Off The Penny

There is a notion that, if you want to really know what the next big thing is, ask a teenager.  Actually, I first read about this concept a dozen years ago in, I think, Wired Magazine.  At that time they were touting the gadget forecasting wizardry of Japanese teenage girls.  You know, the same group that led us to ‘Hello Kitty’ and neon hair-color   I’ll never forget one of the graphics for that piece:  a photo of a girl wearing a phone on her hand.  The mouthpiece went on her pinkie finger, the earpiece on her thumb, and both were connected to a small, square keypad she held in her palm.  Now I thought that was about the coolest thing I’d ever seen . . . and of course, that’s the last time I ever saw it.

Now Buzz Marketing  a company that routinely polls teens about what’s hot and what’s not is out with some startling new information.  They are telling us from the floor of the huge Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, that:

Apple is, like, soooo over!

Apparently, Mr. Job’s little baby has suffered a kind of logo death,  its ingenious iconic label having appeared so many times that it is now seen by the young as the establishment:  stoggy, slow, definitely NOT cool.

There seems to be another element contributing to this growing un-coolness.  The parents of teens today, largely GenXrs’ and even Millennials, are very quick to line up for the latest IPhone . . . and you know what happens to last year’s model?  Yep, it gets handed to the kids who then have to explain to all their friends why their screen is a silly millimeter smaller.  ‘Oh, you know, like the new Iphones came out, and my parents were all, like, you know, and, like I even had to hold their place in line for, like, deades!  So they got their stupid new phones and I was, like, stuck with this old piece of junk!’

To teens today, the Samsung Galaxy line of phones is seen as cool.  Not surprising: it is cool.  But get this . . . the hot new portable computer is not the Ipad, it’s the new Microsoft Surface!  Now that gorgeous piece of hardware is a little pricey for teenagers, which probably explains in part why it hasn’t exactly flown off the shelves at Best Buy.  But still, it’s 50 year old REALTORS (!) who lust after Ipads these days, not those on the cutting edge of style and hip-ness.

Buzz Marketing has more for us.  Guess what else is passe, today.  Drum-roll, please. . . . Facebook.  I mean, for-reals, who would want to go to the same club to socialize with their friends that their PARENTS go???  Increasingly, kids are turning to Tumblr for social purposes and to something called Snapchat.  I know the former of those platforms, but the latter?  It’s news to me.

Noticeably absent from Buzz Marketing’s message to us (at least the parts of it I saw) is my chosen platform, Google-Chrome-Android.  But then, I think big-G is so pervasive that it’s beyond hip.  It is the universe in which hip comes and goes.  It’s like, you know, God or something.  So while the rest of America is lining up for whatever Apple tells us we cannot live without, while kids are poisoning their parents (!) to get a couple more hours of Internet time, I’ll be quietly playing Angry Birds (oh, that’s sooo tired) on my Acer Tablet!

(Thanks to Chris Matyszczyk of Wired Magazine for the fodder that led to this post)

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