Black Millennials Lead in Digital, Nielsen Says

Jessica Guynn , USA TODAY 

SAN FRANCISCO — Black millennials are closing the digital divide with their avid use of mobile technology, according to a new report from the consumer research firm.

Their engagement on social media also tops the charts, especially in raising awareness of issues in the black community, according to the report, “Young, Connected and Black: African-American Millennials Are Driving Social Change and Leading Digital Advancement.”

“We have entered a new era whereby technology has become a great equalizer,” Nielsen’s Cheryl Grace, senior vice president of U.S. Strategic Community Alliances and Consumer Engagement, said in a statement. “Black Millennials are leading the way in their use of technology to impact change and get their voices heard.”

The report comes as Silicon Valley tech companies look to increase the diversity of its mostly white-and-Asian workforce to compete in an increasingly global marketplace and as African-American buying power is on the rise. Having underrepresented minorities brainstorming and building, not just using, the products dreamed up here is quickly becoming a necessity.

According to Nielsen:

–          Among smartphone owners, African Americans (91%) are second only to Asian Americans (94%).

–          91% of African Americans say they access the Internet on a mobile device, an increase from 86% in 2015.

–          African-American Millennials spend about two hours more a week (eight hours and 29 minutes versus six hours and 28 minutes) using the Internet on personal computers than total Millennials, and about an hour more weekly (three hours and 47 minutes versus two hours and 33 minutes) watching video on personal computers.

–          African-American millennials are 25% more likely than all Millennials to say they are among the first of their social or work circle to try new tech products.

–          More than half — 55% — of black Millennials report spending at least one hour a day on social media, 6% more than all Millennials, and 29% say they spend at least three hours a day on social media, 9% more than all Millennials.

#Solutions2020 Policy Forum Hosted by FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn

On October 19, 2016 Commissioner Mignon Clyburn hosted a very informative conference about access to the internet, most importantly this forum was about finding solutions not excuses.

The day started with a lighting round about “Bridging the affordability Gap:” an incredible session about ensuring that internet access stays affordable to all communities, especially minorities, lower income, and those is rural areas.

Next we had the panel discussion “Ushering in the Next Chapter of Broadband and Health.” It was here that the panel highlighted the increasing importance of the internet in the Health care sector. Showing how crucial it is for the medical community to be able to access and share the most recent medical advances.

The third session was the lighting round: “Combating Inequality in the Communications Sector.” This session was a very solutions orientated session focusing on the need (and lack of) diversity in the communications sector. Providing ways more women and minorities (especially Native Americans) can have influence on the content and ownership of media outlets, particularly digital, radio, and televsion media outlets.

After a break, we continued with our fourth session a lighting round about “Digital Inclusion in the 21st Century.” The “inclusion” that this session focused on was how everyone needs to be included in the growth of our digital society. Solutions were delivered on how we can make sure access is provided to entrepreneurs, to women, to minorities on how they can create the latest technological advances in the digital space.

The fifth and final session discussed “Unlocking the 5G Revolution.” Here several solutions were given about the importance of 5G mobile access predominantly in rural areas. It emphasized that we need to have a strategy for the rural areas that was more than “just a watered down version” of the strategy for highly populated areas of the US.

Commissioner Clyburn more than surpassed her goal of creating a forum that provided “Solutions” for growth in the digital specter. Solutions to help close the “Digital Divide”; solutions for ensuring the future of the digital space will help everyone, not just the chosen few. Solutions for several causes that Mobile Like Me is looking to make a major impact around the country. As the Executive Director of Mobile Like Me I was fortunate to attend this event and most importantly I was able to present Commissioner Clyburn a small token to say “Thank you for helping on the issues that we find so important to helping grow our digital society.