fax? Unknown to children and adolescents!

Today, milestones in hardware technology are almost forgotten
fax? Unknown to children and adolescents!

Written by Bernard Lack

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Half of children and young adults have never heard of fax machines and only a third of children between the ages of 10 and 18 know what a floppy disk is. This is the conclusion reached by the Bitkom Digital Association after conducting a survey of children and youth in Germany commissioned by the company.

Phone, floppy disk – young people are rarely aware of past milestones in hardware technology.

(Photo: © – tab62 – stock.adobe.com)

It used to be part of the standard equipment in modern offices – but kids and young adults just don’t know it anymore: the fax machine. Half of those 6 to 18 years old (52%) have never heard of it, 87% of 6 to 9 year olds don’t know what it means and 37% of 10 to 18 year olds. Fax machines are stubbornly present in German offices – four out of ten companies still use them frequently. Dr. says. Sebastian Kloss, Head of Consumer Technology at Bitkom. “Young people are also hardly aware of the older milestones in hardware technology – the younger the kids, the less well-known the technology is.”

The younger the children, the less well-known the technology is.
The younger the children, the less well-known the technology is.

(Photo: Bitkom)

Floppy disks are less popular with children and young adults than fax machines: only a third of people aged 10-18 (33%) have heard of them. While about half of 16 to 18-year-olds (54%) know what a “memory token” means, only 2% of the youngest six to nine do. In contrast, three-quarters of 10- to 18-year-olds (76%) know what typewriters are — and less than half of six- to nine-year-olds (47%).

A smartphone combines many devices and functions

44 percent of children and young people ages 10 to 18 know what a Walkman is — but only seven percent of kids ages 6 to 9. Two-thirds of children aged 10-18 (67%) have heard of a portable CD player, three-quarters know of cassette recorders (76%) and 82% of record players. Furthermore, nine out of ten know what an MP3 player is – but only 22 percent use it. For music, radio playback, and the like, most people use smartphones or tablets these days. 85 percent of children and youth over the age of 10 listen to music and 39 percent listen to radio plays or podcasts.

Children and young adults are also more likely to use their smartphones to make calls (86%). 75 percent use a landline phone at least occasionally. At the same time, many young people are no longer familiar with rotary phones: 33 percent of 10- to 18-year-olds have never heard of them—67 percent of 6- to 9-year-olds. Telephone booths are also becoming rarer and less popular: 22 percent of 10- to 18-year-olds and 51 percent of 6- to 9-year-olds don’t know what they are. “Whether you’re listening to music, watching movies, taking photos or making calls: a smartphone makes a lot of things easier and combines functions that used to require multiple devices,” says Kloss.

About scanning

The information is based on a survey conducted by Bitkom Research on behalf of the Bitkom Digital Association. 920 children and young adults between the ages of 6 and 18 were interviewed. The survey is representative. The questions were: “Which of the following devices have you heard of and do you know what it is?” , “Which of the following do you use at least occasionally—either independently or with your parents?” , “Which of the following devices and applications do you use with your smartphone or tablet at least from time to time?”

(No.: 48530704)

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