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SciAm Readers Prioritize MP3s Over MPGs

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According to Zipcar, 43% of Millenials have used social networking to replace a car drive. Image courtesy of: www.nonprofithub.org

Thank you for your input as no less than 100 readers were kind enough to participate in my not-so-scientific survey of what is least important to them, when given a choice to give up one item ranging between a TV, vehicle, laptop/tablet, and a smartphone.

I know my Social Science Surveys professor from grad school would probably rip his hair out if he looked at my biased questions and the suspiciously perfect number of 100 respondents (no tampering, promise!), yet my intent was not simply data collection but three-fold:

So how do the results from our survey and Zipcar’s survey stack up against each other?

If you had to give up one, which would it be?

From our survey results seen here to the left, we see that 68% of respondents rank their TV the lowest, which is pretty intuitive given how much we watch shows and what not on our smartphones, as well as laptops and tablets. Surprising to me was that people would rather give up their smartphone than their vehicle or laptop or tablet.

If we can compare that to Zipcar’s findings, which tends to rank these products by age category, I can divine that the readership of this blog extends past Millenials, which is neither here nor there, but the big finding from Zipcar is simply this: new technologies are changing our behaviors, and this varies by age.

So if Millenials, which is to say future people, value MP3s over MPGs (in the words of Zipcar’s President Mark Norman) then what are the implications for future energy use? What role do ICT and new technologies have in enabling changing behaviors and with it, a transformed energy landscape?

More on this in the next post as I look into the drop of future people with drivers licenses.

For now though, what do you think?

p.s. In a nice juxtaposition, see fellow blogger Sheril Kirshenbaum discuss the age split in opinion of allowing natural gas exports.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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