Chairman Mao: Definitely of below-average digital quotient. Reuters/Carlos Barria

Think you’re a tech guru in the working world? Think again.

If you think you’re a tech guru in the working world, think againThere is probably someone better than you out there, and it’s not an executive at a competing firmDigital savviness peaks sometime between the ages of 14 and 15, and then drops gradually throughout adulthood, before falling rapidly in old age, according to a new study of 2,800 Britons.

Though AOL surprisingly still has 2.3 million dialup subscribers in the U.S., most of today’s teens will never have heard the screeches and bleeps of the dialup internet. And the study shows the way they approach communication is fundamentally different from older generations. Ofcom, the British telecoms regulator, devised a “digital quotient” that measures a person’s awareness and confidence with technology, where (as with IQ) a score of 100 is the adult average:

14- to 15-year olds, who were the first to benefit from broadband connections and digital perks, boasted the highest score of 113, and the average six-year-old scored better than most people past middle age. Unsurprisingly, 60 percent of people older than 55  had a below-average score.

The also report found that half of the adults tested did not know about Snapchat, Google Glass, or Apple’s rumored iWatch. More than half claimed to know about tablets, smartphones, and apps.

But young digital natives might be weaker on verbal communication skills, too. The report found that for those aged 12 to 15, phone calls account for just 3 percent of their time spent communicating through any device. Most of the British teens’ remote socializing happens through texts, photos, or videos. Snapchat was particularly popular, with 18 percent of teens using it and 11 percent knowing a lot about it.

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site. 

MORE FROM QUARTZ:

What Apple's Secret In-House University Teaches Employees About Good Design

How to Detect the Cheap Filler Ingredients in Your Pricey Coffee

Banking's Trading Nightmare is Far from Over

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A crowded street outside in Boston
    Life

    Surveillance Cameras Debunk the Bystander Effect

    A new study uses camera footage to track the frequency of bystander intervention in heated incidents in Amsterdam; Cape Town; and Lancaster, England.                            

  2. A photo of a refrigerator at a dollar store
    Equity

    To Save a Neighborhood, Ban a Dollar Store?

    Some local governments hope that more grocery stores will blossom in “food deserts” if the number of discount convenience retailers can be limited.

  3. A photo of anti-gentrification graffiti in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification

    A new study claims the effects of neighborhood change on original lower-income residents are largely positive, despite fears of spiking rents and displacement.

  4. A woman wheels a suitcase on a platform toward a train.
    Transportation

    In Denmark's Train Dream, the Next Big City Is Only an Hour Away

    A newly revived rail plan could see Denmark’s trains catch up with its reputation for other types of green transit.

  5. The Cincinnati skyline and river
    Life

    Maps Reveal Where the Creative Class Is Growing

    “The rise of the rest” may soon become a reality as once-lagging cities see growth of creative class employment.

×