Internet users of the future are unlikely to have full concentration on your web page. New research on teenagers shows that they are significant “multitaskers”. In other words, unlike the average Internet user (aged in their mid-40s) the future Internet users will not only be looking at your web page – they will be doing something else at the same time.

The report on “multitasking consumers” shows that the vast majority of Internet users aged between 11 and 17 look at a web page whilst also doing something else. Most commonly, this age group is watching TV whilst surfing the web. The chances are this ability will persist into adulthood. When current adults were children they were told to concentrate on one thing; that’s why we find it more difficult to multitask. Today’s growing teens are not given such advice, or they are ignoring it, because they clearly can do several things at the same time.

The problem for online businesses is this – which task is in the “foreground”? Are these teens able to keep all their current tasks active in their mind, or do some tasks take a higher priority? We need answers to those questions, otherwise your advertising and promotional messages could be in the wrong medium.

Clearly, researchers will be looking into the multitasking phenomenon. In the meantime, it means that online business should not rely on a single medium for their message. What you have on your web site needs repeating in other media as well. So your web site can only be a part of your business strategy – you need offline media use as well.

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