A typical 21 year old has played 5,000 hours of computer games; exchanged 25,000 e-mail, SMS, and chat messages; used a cell phone some 10,000 times; and spent 3,500 hours online. That's your future consumer.

When I conducted the research for my book, "BRANDchild" (the world's largest study on kids and their relationship with brands), one result that surprised me was the number of channels kids are able to handle simultaneously. Adults are able to manage 1.7 media channels at the same time, say, watching TV and reading a magazine. Kids, however, can pay attention to an astounding 5.4 channels. They can watch TV, send SMS messages, surf the Net, chat on IM, listen to music, and even devote 0.4 of their simultaneous communications energy to homework.

When I recently repeated the study, not only had the number of channels kids handle at once increased by 0.2, but the adult capacity for dealing with multiple channels had grown almost 0.1. The ever-evolving media environment, therefore, not only influences the younger generation. It affects us all, and we're adapting to it. This leads to a question: what behavioral changes will we see in future generations vis-à-vis communications strategies and media use?

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