Viewpoint: Screen size is the true differentiator between generations

Many theories have been proposed about the differences in reaching boomers, millennials and Generation Z, but no characteristic is more emblematic of the generation gap than screen size preference, according to a recent Bloomberg op-ed.

As Tyler Cowen, PhD, a professor of economics at Fairfax, Va.-based George Mason University, described in the article, older generations prefer to consume content on as large a screen as possible, while younger generations do everything from conduct business to watch movies on comparatively tiny phone screens.

Dr. Cowen cited a study showing that the median age of the American television viewer is around 56, compared to the 40-year-old average mobile and computer video viewer. And while both formats certainly have their advantages, Dr. Cowen asserts that the move toward ever-smaller screens will have consequences in pop culture and beyond.

"Once again, technology is enabling great gains in convenience and diversity. What is being lost is a sense of magnificence," he wrote. "As today's over-50 crowd slowly passes away, and our experiences fade from collective memory, I wonder if the world might be in for a bigger cultural shock than we currently realize."

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