A study commissioned by Time Inc.and previewed Monday at a New York conference appears to show that millenials, the people who grew up after the explosion of digital media, have become wired differently because of this changed environment. According to a story in MediaDailyNews, young people had biometric sensors attached that tracked their heart rates, breathing, sweating and even how and what they are looking at. It was followed up by interviews.
Final data from the study, dubbed "A (Biometric) Day In The Life," will not be released until early 2012, but a glimpse of preliminary findings from two respondents - Rachel, a 23-year-old "digital native," and Dan, a 47-year-old "digital immigrant" - suggests it will reveal profound differences in the way generations process media. Rachel, who cannot live without her smartphone, incessantly multitasks media options, and could care less about television, averaged more emotional engagement, but fewer "peaks" and "valleys" of intensity compared with Dan, a "digital immigrant" who could care less about his smartphone, loves TV, and didn't exhibit one instance of media multitasking in the day he was observed consuming media.
"We like Dan," quipped Betsy Frank, Chief Research and Insights Officer of Time Inc., while presenting the preliminary findings with Dr. Carl Marci, CEO and Chief Science Officer of Boston-based Innerscope Research, which is conducting the study.Frank said that the results are critical to publishers migrating their content from traditional platforms such as print to digital. The company has created a panel of tablet users to conduct studies about the differences between their use of print and digital media.