Statsthought: 25.9

This is the percentage of 19- to 24-year-old Canadians surveyed that have taken a media literacy course.

This is the percentage of 19- to 24-year-old Canadians surveyed that have taken a media literacy course.

de•mys ti•fi•ca tion (-f -k sh n) n.

To make less mysterious; clarify

Yes, exploring demystification is a favourite hobby of mine, since perhaps nothing better defines this generation.

Let me explain. The access to digital technology has, to misquote a famous longhair from Russia, placed the modes of production more firmly in the hands of the modern citizen consumer than any generation before.

And, as Martin Luther showed us back in the day with his printing press, those more in charge of technology are those more in control of culture.

Make no mistake, ‘new media’ has changed the dynamic of mainstream culture’s relationship with celebrity, media and brands; they are now more openly understood, particularly by teens and young adults, as often illusory and definitely fabricated things.

In short – they ‘get’ these things more and, in turn, expect more from them because they understand how to be their own celebrity, create their own media channels and develop their own branding.

Case in point: formal media literacy training is becoming further enshrined into the modern curriculum of the day. Just over one in four young Canadians aged 19 to 24 and just under one in five (18%) Canadian teens are currently adding to their already innate relationship with the modern mediasphere through even more education. This trend is almost certain to continue and expand.

Anything you claim, show, dramatize or explain to this new generation has never been more scrutinized, contextualized and, most importantly, understood.

This ‘statsthought’ gleaned from ‘Ping’ – Youthography’s quarterly national study of Canadians aged 9 to 34 – was culled from a winter 2008 survey of 2,204 youths. Mike Farrell (partner, chief strategic officer) can be reached at mike@youthography.com.