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Better connections … young Australians want more face-to-face time with friends and family, a survey shows / Lindsay Moller
Everything old is new again for internet-weary young adults
By Stephen Lunn The Australian 14 July 2009
* Gen Y culture shift
* Study reveals a “new nostalgia”
* Young Australians crave less complex times
NEXT thing you know, all the young men will be using Brylcream, the girls will be in bobby sox and everyone will be learning to jitterbug.
A study of young adult culture reveals a “new nostalgia” among Australia’s 16-30 year olds, who pine for less complex times, The Australian reports.
Communicating with friends online has lost some of its lustre even from as recently as a year ago and they now want to have more face-to-face time.
And they increasingly prefer to do that at home rather than going out to noisy, potentially dangerous pubs and nightclubs, according to the annual Urban Market Research survey compiled by youth marketing agency Lifelounge.
The survey of more than 1600 young adults finds those still living with their parents (about half) have noticed the global financial crisis’s impact on the family and pared back their lifestyle in response.
It also shows their love affair with technology is heading for a break-up, with time spent online down 30 minutes a week from last year, while their consumption of newspapers increased by the same amount.
Facebook and Twitter are also still on the rise, but losing some of their cachet.
Lifelounge chief executive Dion Appel said: “Nostalgia and simplicity … (are) influencing the styles they’re adopting, the products they’re purchasing and their entertainment choices.
“Parents’ vinyl records are suddenly interesting and vintage clothes are de rigueur.
“And they want more connections with their friends that aren’t digital, that are tangible. They’re starting to question the authenticity of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
“They want technology to assist rather than dominate the way they communicate.”
Overall, spending on music, entertainment, travel, fashion and sport is down more than $5 billion in the year to March, from $47.5bn to $42.4bn, the study finds.
Melbourne clothing designer Clea Garrick, 27, said she and her friends had tended to step out of the fast lane over the past year, and were instead enjoying some of the simpler pleasures.
“We’ve definitely had more dinners at our house than we normally would, including a fondue party would you believe it?” said Ms Garrick, who is married with no children.
She agreed there was now a greater emphasis among her peers for human contact rather than online connections than a year ago. “Facebook, for sure, we’ve dropped our usage,” she said.
Read more on this story at The Australian.