The New York Times recently ran a story about creating video content for mobile phones.  That is probably more interesting to people who are in the video content business than the rest of us. But tucked away almost as an afterthought is this graph showing which technologies matter most to people by age.

Technologies people say they can't live without

What it shows is interestingly counter to the conventional wisdom that the previous conventional wisdom was wrong.  Or to put it another way:

  • people used to think that the computer was taking over – everything would be done through them, which made it not just possible but overwhelmingly urgent to set up a company selling bulk dog food online.
  • then there was a wave of hype that the younger generation – anyone below the age of about 25 where senescence now seems to be assumed to set in – wasn’t interested in the boring approaches of their elders – so email was an old and passé technology, not a new one, and wrist watches were for losers (though perhaps more positively, they use less paper – making the paperless office a matter of culture rather than technology)
  • and now it seems the computer is back on top – by a stronger first preference than for any other age group

(via Scott Rosenberg)