These days due to the recession, bad job market, and terrible inflation, many people have to make the choice between necessities and desires. For the longest time people were able to live almost above their current pay grade but these days are long-gone, and it looks like budget cuts by consumers are going to have a very large impact on the car market this year. As you may have realized, the holiday season is coming up and a new report by the New York Times says that teenagers undoubtedly want a smart-phone more than a car. Now this is not to say that every highschooler would choose an iPhone over a new Ferrari, but with the rising gas prices and other common problems with cars, the vehicles are just becoming less wanted.
The theory behind this new trend is that teenagers used to put ‘freedom’ along with taking a road trip, hitting the open road with some friends, and being able to drive anywhere at any time. Unfortunately for many kids this has changed a new trend has popped up, which always happens over time, but it seems the stakes have been significantly lowered which leads to other possible problems. Teens these days are more dependant on their social networks and mobile lives which makes the cell phone an extremely important part of their lives, much more so than in the last decade. People want, and need, to be connected to their online communication networks and driving a car can impede their ability to do so with the newer and harsher laws on teen texting and phone usage in cars. It seems that almost every state is now adopting a new law that makes phone usage in almost any form illegal for teens, if not everyone; but there are two sides to this story as the car crash rates have significantly dropped in areas where these laws were implemented.
Surprisingly, statistics show that in 1978 almost 50% of 16 year olds picked up their driving license, but in 2008 only 30% of this same group obtained their driving privileges. It is speculated that this slow decrease over the years is actually caused by a lack of innovation from car companies. Think about it… car companies have not come out with anything revolutionary or extremely needed in the life of a teenager in the past years, a car is still needed but the ownership of a car as a teen is not necessarily such a desired trait anymore; the truly terrifying thought is if teens now value having a smart phone more than a car, what will the next generation find useless that we are so thankful for these days?