Generation Y is often referred to as the echo boomers, internet generation, or even the iGen. These names come from the fact that since birth all of these children have always had access to technology no matter where they go. Stephanie Armour says “Generation Y is young, smart, and rude. They may wear flip-flops to the office or listen to iPods at their desk. They want to work, but do not want work to be their life (Armour).” Generation Y can also be described as ambitious, who also value their work life, they work good in groups and are media savvy, as well as being optimistic and globally conscious (Gordon). This is where the company Apple comes to play a major part in Generation Y lives. Apple Inc. has provided this generation with many different ways to be able to carry the internet in their pockets as they travel from place to place, such as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad. One main characteristic of Generation Y is that they love to be in control, and with these three items that Apple has created with “I” in front has proved that they are in charge of their item and they can personalize it and make it them. Apple has impacted Generation Y so greatly because it has allowed them to carry their music everywhere they go and it has changed the way that society communicates with the outside world, because it allows everyone to check emails, read the news, stay up to date on their favorite sports team, and even watch movies and play games. The impact that Apple has made on Generation Y has greatly changed the way that they listen to music more fashionably, the way they communicate with each other, and how they interact with the outside world through social media and has shaped the generation into what everyone knows them as, tech. savvy.
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Apple has been around for 30 years, it was first founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (“The History”). The company produced personal computers that were found on the market such as the Apple brand, Macintosh and Power Mac computers. When the nineties came around the company experienced a decrease in the sales because of increasing companies and decided to do something different (“The History”). In 2001, Apple introduced the iPod which was one of the first MP3 players that could hold over 1,000 songs, allowing teens and even adults everywhere to listen to whatever they wanted, wherever they went which altered the music industry (“30 Years”). The iPod could hold 10 hours of battery life and fit in the pocket of any pair of pants, the iPod instantly replaced everybody’s generic MP3 player. As the years progressed so did the iPod, in 2003 Apple introduced the iTunes store which allowed customers to purchase music, apps, and books online, while iPods could not hold video, this feature later became available in 2005 and then in 2007 the iPod became touch screen, practically just like the iPhone without the phone (Mallin & Todd, 63-74). In 2007, the first iPhone was launched, loaded down with apps and memory for one to be able to find whatever they needed, and eventually hurt Apple because it decreased the need for a separate iPod because the phones acted as MP3 players as well (Mallin & Todd, 63-74). Along with all of these other inventions Apple also came along with the invention of the iPad in 2010, which was somewhat like a portable computer all compacted into a 10-inch touchscreen tablet (Mallin & Todd, 63-74). With all of these inventions came bugs and issues along the way Apple has also produced multiple versions of the iPod, iPhone, and even iPad’s, and today there is even an iPad mini. With all this technology evolving so does society and Generation Y, and the technology that is available impacts the way that the generation grows.
In a blog written by Anastasia Goodstein on the NBCNEWS website, she talks about how Apple seemed dominate in the education market during the 1980s but that the biggest impact on teens was the creation of the iPod (Goodstein). When a survey is conducted on top of most teen’s list is an iPhone which is even put over cars on what is wanted most by teens (Goodstein). The love for iPod did not just happen overnight though, teen’s idolized Steve jobs and this was unusual for most teens (Goodstein). Goodstein talks about how research that was conducted by Viacom’s teen network, found that apple is “absolutely essential to teens” (Goodstein). When interrupting a teen’s conversation, it is found that the main topic of it is the iPod. Most teens have a need for these items because it makes them “cool”. Music is a teens main love, it helps express who they are and release emotions that they have no other way of releasing. Apple provided teens with the ideal MP3 player eliminating what other generations knew such as the Walkman or a CD Player, which they had to either listen to the radio or make a mix tape on their computers which took a huge amount of the day, but with the new invention of this MP3 player it allowed them to download songs without the whole album, and allowed them to create their own playlist on the spot without delay to what mood they were in that day (Goodstein). Apple not only gives the teen a way to express this need but they attract the teens through the use of their design. With solid white earphones against a black silhouette of a person dancing with jams blasting on a commercial attracts attention, causing teens to want this item because they want to have the lasted technology (Goodstein). A lot of the way that this item has made such an increase in sales is because they use teens as their marketing strategy. When teens are in high school, to be in the in-crowd, it is always essential to have the coolest items, so when one teen shows off their fancy new iPod to their classmates they instantly run home telling their parents about the need and want for this item, and the teens value their friends opinion much more than that of an old person on TV talking about a MP3 player. The reason that this gadget has such an impact on the Generation Y and not any other generation is because they have a need for creativity and to not be the same as everyone else, which is one of the many characteristics of this generation.
To add to the creation of the iPod, Apple decided to create the iPhone in 2007 which instantly impacted the way that Generation Y communicated with one another (Arthur). The iPhone is equipped with social media apps, news apps, shopping apps, and even bank apps. The iPhone has also allowed Generation Y to become lazy, with the advantages of doing things from smartphones they do not have to move, all that is required is the little movement of two thumbs. Unfortunately though the impact of the iPhone just does not affect how Generation Y communicates but it can also make many jobs obsolete. When the news can be found on your iPhone or iPod, the need for news casters becomes questioned. With the never ending creation of new apps for the iPhone this also produces less communication for each individual with the outside world. When walking into a college classroom before class begins, usually every student will either be checking the latest gossip on their macs, iPhones, or other technology that will allow them to use the internet, which proves that this generation is one to rely on technology for everything. Generation Y relies on the use of the internet to be able to do their everyday needs, first thing to do in the morning when waking up is to check what is going on with Facebook, twitter, and Instagram, it is required before any teen can even start their day. This has also changed the way their daily routines play out, Generation Y checks their phone when they wake up, checks it when they are out the shower, and even after they are done getting ready, again. This technology is glued to their hands. Today, 2.27 billion people use the internet every day, double what it was five years ago (Arthur). The iPhone just does not offer apps to stay with what is going on in the world but it offers many different means of communication. Teens have the option to make phone calls, text message, video calls, instant message and also social networking. Along with the negative impact that the iPhone has made, it also can be looked at from a positive standpoint. The iPhone is a great way for communication especially in emergencies, because instead of having to send a text once to everyone, they have invented a group message where you can select multiple numbers and send a mass message out. While many other smartphones have just as much impact on Generation Y, the iPhone makes the biggest impact because of its flexibility and popularity with teens.
Along with the invention of the iPod and the iPhone came the invention of the iPad, which has also been made better into an iPad 2 and even an iPad mini. The iPad is a seven to ten inch, thin touch screen device with full color display that can be used as a magazine or a book e-reader (“What Does”). It is also equipped with internet which allows it to be used to check Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube and it can even support a video game addict who wants to play on the go. The iPad ultimately offers everything that the iPhone does without the calling portion of the phone and it is also a bigger screen. The invention of this tablet can make things such as libraries suffer because it is great for books, magazines, and newspapers (“What Does”). Generation Y uses the iPad for many different things, it has become important a part of their lives. Generation Y has the opportunity to use their iPad’s as a text book but this is not necessarily a positive thing because along with the iPad like stated before there is twitter, Instagram, email, and Facebook, and if in the middle of reading the textbook or taking notes, they receive a notification for one of these social networking apps they are not going to turn down the option to check it. Generation Y is known to want to always be in the loop or know the latest news so that is what they do with these social networking apps. The iPad though which has these apps will draw the students away from their professors lectures or even hold them off on getting their homework or reading required done. The impact that the iPad makes on Generation Y is a negative one but can also be positive. The positive effects of this technology are the convenience and the amount of information that they are able to access. With the internet in the palm of the hand Generation Y is able to search the enter web database for whatever is needed, college libraries are even available online now and can easily get an article or book needed transferred through the online database.
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Generation Y relies on Facebook as a guide in their day to day lives and it shows how many people are obsessed with what kind of “reputation” that they have online. Facebook is one of the main leaders in the online social world but this is a negative thing that happens. It is negative because Facebook can cause workers to be distracted and not perform their jobs correctly and a lot of the time people sit around on their phones getting in others business instead of doing something productive and this leads to many issues that Generation Y has faced. Facebook is not the only social networking app that has impacted Generation Y though. With the various apps that are available on the Apple technology, one interesting but creepy app is called Find my Friends, this allows the owner of the device and all their friends who have this app be able to find out exactly where their friends are and how far away they are from each other. This puts the consumer in control because they are allowed to hide their location whenever they feel needed and make it visible whenever need and that is what Generation Y loves about technology. This app though is not the only way that Generation Y can be in control of their technology, on the iPhone they can choose if other iPhone users can see if they read their message, but this causes many issues throughout their lives. Apple Inc. has allowed Generation Y to have unlimited use to the internet and to any kind of technology they want, but in the long run this leads to a decrease in the rate of activity and this leads mental health issues. While the technology can cause mental health issues, it is a positive for some. IPhones and iPad’s are great for disabled people, they struggle their day to day lives to try to pay stuff and talk to people but with the internet available in the palm of their hand it makes life so much easier for them. The fact that Generation Y has lived their whole life with technology and it plays a major role in their day to day lives and will not only affect them now but it will affect their future.
In conclusion, Apple Inc. has placed a strain on Generation Y and what obstacles and achievements they may face or can overcome. The company is perceived in a positive way; it allows an easier means of communication and is always readily available but with these positives also comes consequences. With the continues production of iPod, iPhone, and iPad, there will also be an increasing need for more technology and there is no telling what Apple will come up with next but with this increase also come more issues for Generation Y to face throughout their lifetime.
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