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. photo: The Pan-Am Worldport at JFK International Airport, built in 1960,
    Design

    Why Airports Die

    Expensive to build, hard to adapt to other uses, and now facing massive pandemic-related challenges, airport terminals often live short, difficult lives.

  2. Maps

    Your Maps of Life Under Lockdown

    Stressful commutes, unexpected routines, and emergent wildlife appear in your homemade maps of life during the coronavirus pandemic.

  3. photo: Social-distancing stickers help elevator passengers at an IKEA store in Berlin.
    Transportation

    Elevators Changed Cities. Will Coronavirus Change Elevators?

    Fear of crowds in small spaces in the pandemic is spurring new norms and technological changes for the people-moving machines that make skyscrapers possible.

  4. photo: an open-plan office
    Life

    Even the Pandemic Can’t Kill the Open-Plan Office

    Even before coronavirus, many workers hated the open-plan office. Now that shared work spaces are a public health risk, employers are rethinking office design.

  5. Life

    The Next Recession Will Destroy Millennials

    Millennials are already in debt and without savings. After the next downturn, they’ll be in even bigger trouble.

×