2001 was the year that changed the lives of Internet users significantly. That is when an American computer programmer Bram Cohen created torrenting, which was much easier to use and provided faster download times than other applications at the time.
As more than 21 years have passed, it is interesting to look through how its usage has changed among Internet users. So, let’s look at how different generations: X, Y, Z as well as alpha, understand and use torrenting.
Generation X and their relation to torrenting
The term “Generation X” was popularized by Douglas Coupland and used to name people who were born between 1965 and 1980. When torrenting was invented, they were 21-35 years old. Even though generation X was the first generation, who grew up with personal computers, isn’t that crazy?
However, back then, children didn’t spend even a tenth of Generation Z’s time on the computer. Why? The first reason is that not every family has the Internet these days. So, apart from a few simple games and “Paint” there was nothing to do. Secondly, Gen Xers used to spend most of their days without adult supervision. Therefore, their daily life could be full of housework on the one hand and on the other – full of creative activities that were born out of boredom and having nothing to do.
So, due to their daily habits, it can be said that their connection with technology was not very strong. That’s why they cannot be called the generation that used torrenting the most. Rather, on the contrary, this is a generation whose use of torrents was very limited. Even today, many of them most probably will say that there are much more interesting activities than playing computer games or watching movies. They prefer to choose active recreation, being in nature, etc.
Torrenting and millennials (or Generation Y)
People who were born between 1981 and 1995 belong to Generation Y. These are real digital natives who cannot imagine their day without using “screen”. Some can’t put their phone down, others never turn off their computer, and still, others spend a large part of their time playing video games. True, there are quite a few who are able to combine all these areas in their lives.
On the one hand, for them, it is the main means of achieving their goals (Generation Y is known as super ambitious but… narcissistic and lazy). Keeping in mind that they have experienced an economic crisis, they are used to making every effort to get what they want. On the other hand, it is a tool that effectively allows you to step away from work. Therefore, playing a video game, watching movies, or just video content on the Internet is a recreation for them and one of the more common forms of leisure.
So, it’s easy to predict that millennials were and still are the main users of torrents. Their desire to improve is constantly growing, and they want to be the first to see newly released movies or video games. They want to keep pace with innovation, which is inseparable from the “screens”, which are rarely turned off.
Video piracy and Generation Z
Generation Z was born between 1997 and 2012. That is the newest generation which is often called post-millennial. Some people joke that it would be more accurate to call them People of the Internet because they have had smart devices in their hands since their birth.
They seem to spend all their time on the Internet – they take their phones to the toilet and to bed. It is sometimes said that this generation no longer lives in the world; it lives in an interactive reflection of the world. They communicate a lot with each other but rarely meet. And even when they meet, they often exchange live communication for correspondence or creating content for social networks. Furthermore, they state that they are interested in active sports, but mostly they express their interest by watching videos about them on the Internet. So, they look more at how life is going than they live it themselves.
Seeing such a description, it might seem that this generation is also actively using torrents. However, this is not true. This generation raises the question more often than all others – is torrenting safe? And how to download torrent safely? It is also extremely important for them not to support piracy and only use the content they have paid money for. Even if none of that fee goes to the content creators, they feel like honest users.
Generation Alpha: what shall we expect?
Generation Alpha – that is what the people who were born starting 2010 are called. They are living such a life as any generation has not lived. They have the best conditions to get a quality education, have the most comfortable living conditions, to travel freely around the world, even if their parents have lower incomes than the average in their country.
This generation gets everything they set their minds to. If Generation Y had to patiently save and use their creativity and ingenuity to acquire one desired item, Generation Alpha would not face such a challenge. And for that, you can thank the parents who love them very much, who do not hesitate to buy things by taking a loan or in installments due to the children’s whims.
Since people belonging to this generation are still children, it is difficult to name what qualities they will have. While guesses may vary, they will only be guesses. In order to see what we are really dealing with, we will have to wait another 10-20 years.
But will torrenting be relevant to them? Since it is difficult to give an unequivocal answer, it is likely that in any case, some of the representatives of this generation will be active torrent users, and some will not even have heard of it, just like representatives of other generations.