One Giant Nerd Speaks for an Entire Generation

teenagers2I love the way the media portray young people. Oh yeah, that was sarcasm.

15 year old called Matthew Robson is apparently a “work experience whizz kid” at banking giant Morgan Stanley in London.  As reported in The Times online “Today he is the talk of Tokyo, Wall Street and the City. Fund managers, CEOs and analysts are poring over his report, How Teenagers Consume Media“.

So this kid, who did work experience at a merchant banking firm has some opinions about media.  Ok, sure I’m down with that.

What does confuzzle me is the idea that Matthew, who tried to get work experience at Lloyds and Morgan Stanley (*cough * nerd! * ahem *) , is considered to be a voice for his generation.

Who at 15 had a clue what they wanted to do?  Particularly, who at 15 thinks to themselves, I know – banking~  That’s the ticket for me!   Do you know who?  Seriously, think back.  Remember what you were like.  Think of your friends.  Who had the slightest clue?  Noone. Not a bloody one.

“The first day was quite scary,” [Matthew] said. “But it was really interesting. By the second week I felt I understood what a bank did.”

Yeah right.    So what were the pearls of wisdom this briliantine mind had to share…

  • Teenagers don’t read newspapers.
    No shit sherlock.  I’m a grown adult and I ain’t readin’ ’em either.  I imagine the newspapers count how many they sell and have a pretty good idea of that already.
  • They are reluctant to pay for music
    Ummm…. is this supposed to be news?  There was such a thing as tapes and blanks CDs before MP3s you know.  Music is expensive on a teenagers salary (ie zero) and we rarely paid for it either.  This is not new behaviour.
  • Directories aren’t used because the information can be found on the internet for free
    Pretty sure the grown-ups have worked that one out by now too
  • Teenagers find ads on websites annoying and ignore them
    Who doesn’t?
  • Sony Ericsson phones are superior because they have a walkman
    hahhahaha walkman… how quaint! Gazillions of iPhone and iPod owners around the globe would disagree.  Clearly Matthew and his few friends that he “texted for ideas” don’t have any disposable income.  And why would they, they’re 15!

His supervisors thought the report “one of the clearest and most thought-provoking insights we have seen” and published it.

You have got to be kidding me.  Thought-provoking? How?  Matthew’s points are all valid.  However you’d have to be Captain Oblivious to learn anything new or insightful here.  I’m not suggesting what he’s saying is incorrect.  Merely that it is (a) blindingly obvious and (b) in some ways specific to his particular social niche.  He’s not speaking for all 15 year olds, he’s speaking for male 15 year olds in his particular part of the world, of his particular socio-economic segment.  That’s all.

Matthew, meanwhile, finished his internship and went on scout camp.

Still doubt that he’s a nerd?

To be entirely cynical about it for a moment, does it really matter what this kid has to say?  He has zero income anyway.  If you’re in marketing or advertising, do you really care about this kid?

And yes, in case you were wondering, that photo is meant to be ironic.

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