Imogen Merridew, 16, a photography A-Level student at Avonbourne Sixth Form in Bournemouth, on work experience with Deep South Media, provides an insight into how her peer group – Gen Z – absorb information online.
It’s my first day interning with Deep South Media, and I’m already seeing the importance they put on visual captivation, drawing their audience in with interesting pictures and using that to sell the story.
Photography is an area of interest for me, as a future career, and commercial photography is very important to Deep South so they can present their clients in the best possible way.
I’ve seen how quickly posts with visual media gain attention. On LinkedIn, the social media site, a post got around 500 views within an hour, comments were being left by the client and other interested parties and likes were being given out liberally.
The same can be said on their Instagram page, although LinkedIn is far more their domain, most pictures were of very high quality and the caption was short, they let the picture do the talking.
This reflects the changing market. Millennials have a similar taste to the younger generation. Most would prefer images over text and are dependent on phones, but they grew up during a time of technological change. The dependency on phones isn’t as strong, and many could cope with the removal of technology and the need for social media isn’t on the same level. Millennials don’t require instant gratification from their media, and some even refuse to be on any social media at all.
My generation, Gen Z, is dependent on visual media and very few people would prefer text. We’ve grown up in a world of technological advancements and never known a society dependant on broadsheet newspapers, instead we’ve grown dependant on our phones like they’re an extra limb. We require instant gratification from anything we do on them, that’s why visual media is so important to Gen Z and, by extension, the changing market and the platforms on which they target audiences.
This visual dependence is a sign of changing times; people now prefer visual media such as still images and videos over text. This just shows the move away from print and towards online social media, which allows for more images and videos in a smaller space of time.
It also shows the generational gap – more and more people my age are accessing this content that previously would’ve only been available to, or looked for, by adults. This means that companies tend to cater to the younger market, whether they’re targeting them or not.