Today's 8-14-year-olds will embrace their digital culture to create a financially responsible, ambitious and environmentally-aware generation, according to the largest poll of its kind in Europe.
Nicknamed "Generation XD" by entertainment giant and the survey's commissioner Disney, the digitally-aware European adults of the future will be fundamentally different from today's Generation X, the report suggests. Disney predicts that today's young people will eschew their celebrity-dominated upbringing to focus on traditional family values and traditional vocations. In every country surveyed, "Mum" and "Dad" were the two people most admired in the world, whilst the top five future professions overall were vet, teacher, footballer, doctor and police officer.
"As the kids of Generation X, who embraced all mod cons in their twenties, you'd expect Generation XD to be fully versed in how the internet can help them." said Tom Dunmore, consulting editor of technology magazine Stuff. "What's interesting though, is how they are embracing both cutting edge technology and traditional family values in their approach to life."
"While David Beckham does inevitably get a mention, fame and celebrity are secondary to family and they aspire to be vets and teachers rather than singers and celebrities, which is both surprising and encouraging."
Disney also believes that the credit-crunched environment today's 8-14-year-olds have grown up in has had a profound effect on their attitude to finances. The survey revealed that 70 percent save their pocket money instead of spending it immediately, and 64 percent would rather work for themselves than for somebody else. An impressive 97 percent of Generation XD believed that it was important to care for the planet, with 74 percent already recycling regularly.
Disney interviewed over 3,000 8-14-year-olds in six countries (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain) to compile the study, the largest pan-European survey of the age group. Despite the fact that children born between 1995 and 2001 have witnessed more technological developments during their youth than any other generation, respondents overwhelmingly used technology to improve face-to-face interaction - face-to-face contact is still the most preferable way to meet up with friends (30 percent) beating texting (15 percent), online chat (14 percent) and mobile (8 percent).
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