Now I’ve heard everything. Did you know that social media and electronic devices are hurting the car manufacturing industry?
Lindsay Kirchoff, 23, from the software company HubSpot and a millennial trend marketing consultant said, “The Internet has made the freedoms that comes with getting a (driver’s) license anticlimactic.”
When folks ages 18 to 34 were asked, 65 percent said they would rather do without a car than their phone or computer.
These days, kids’ social life is on the information highway, not on an actual highway.
Were you like me and COULD NOT WAIT to get your driver’s license? If memory serves, I waited outside the DMV on my sixteenth birthday for the doors to open. My license meant a ticket to freedom.
When I went to Bedrock High School with Fred Flintstone, we took driver’s ed. in school. Now, kids/parents have to pay for driver training and fit the lessons in around an already jammed schedule.
Thirty years ago, nearly half of sixteen-year-olds had their driver’s license. In 2010, the number dropped to 28 percent. What is wrong with these kids?
The shift is blamed on the way kids can now stay connected via smartphone or computer instead of gathering at the malt shop for entertainment on a Friday night. Why go to a drive-in movie theater when you can watch a movie on your laptop? You can stay at home with your boring parents and still hang out with your friends via Skype, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.
Teenage apathy about driving has serious consequences for the car industry. Automakers have to convince teens that they need a car at all.
“Mom will drive me (geez, entitled kids these days).”
“Gas is expensive.”
“I buy everything on-line.”
“I talk to my friends on Facebook.”
In l985, 3.4 percent of new-car-sales were to drivers aged 15 to 20. In 2012, the number dropped to 2 percent.
What happened to watching submarine races? What happened to cruising a la American Graffiti? What happened to sneaking in the house when you missed your curfew?
I get that kids have a hard time finding a job in this economy. Ergo, they can’t make car payments or afford insurance. Heck, you need a Swiss Bank account so you can pay for gas. But why not want to get their license and drive their date to the prom in mom’s mini-van?
Oh, yeah. Mom pays for a party bus to take you to the prom so you don’t drink and drive. (I’m okay with the no drinking and driving thing, but party bus? Isn’t that encouraging drinking?)
Status among the teen-set is now measured in gigabytes instead of horsepower. Making lasting memories in the backseat of a car is a thing of the past. If you have a retina display on your iPad, who needs to make-out with the high school star-quarterback to be one of the cool kids?
Researchers say this also has long-term implications for automakers. Because this generation isn’t forming an emotional attachment to cars, they will buy fewer cars over their lifetime.
Some also blame teen’s decreased desire to get a driver’s license on the lack of time. Kids nowadays are over-scheduled with sports, tutoring, AP classes, and SAT prep. Read: College application padding.
I was an anomaly among my peers when our kids were of driving age. My fellow moms dreaded the day their children could drive. With three kids, three school start times, three soccer practices, and three whatever’s, I spent more time in my car than in my home.
But kids these days would rather Tweet than get their driver’s license?
- Smartphones, not cars, drive teens’ social lives (seattletimes.com)