Young people between 14 and 24 years old use applications such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Telegram daily. But every time they make fewer calls with their mobiles. In the Anglo-Saxon world, they are already referred to as Generation Mute (the Silent or Silent Generation), which is characterized by its preference for instant messaging over traditional telephone calls. In 2018, 96.8% of Spanish youth between 14 and 24 years old He used WhatsApp as a preferred channel to communicate with family and friends, according to the report The Digital Society in Spain 2018 edited by Fundación Telefónica and presented on Tuesday.
However, this trend is not only common among young people. In Spain, the daily use of this type of apps almost doubles the number of mobile and landline calls. 60% of the population sends instant messages several times a day, while one in four calls from their mobile and only 12% does so via the landline, according to the same report. Users even choose to use their mobile phones to contact family and friends to meet them. For 95.1% of the Spanish population, instant messaging is the preferred channel to communicate, even above the communication in person, which is reduced to 86.60%. The elderly are not left behind: 87.1% of the population over 64 years of age uses instant messaging applications on a regular basis.
The smartphone it remains as the preferred device for nine out of ten Spaniards, followed by the computer and, with enough distance, from the tablet. The use of these last two devices has declined in recent years. If in 2017 66.7% of Spaniards connected to the Internet through the computer, in 2018 only 62.9% did so. Despite this, it continues to be the most used device for professional purposes. The activities carried out most by Spaniards when connecting to the Internet are the use of instant messaging (94.3%), email (81.3%), social networks (67%), listening to music (58.8%) , carry out banking operations (54%) and online purchases (51.2%).
Mobile phone applications collect a huge amount of information. Massive analysis of data by artificial intelligence by different companies allows to know each user perfectly, show you personalized information and even influence their behavior. Still, the awareness of the Spanish has declined in recent years. In 2018, 82.9% of the population considered that the privacy of their data in the network was very important. The previous year this percentage amounted to 87%.
Guaranteeing the privacy of users has become one of the main challenges of society. The General Regulation of Data Protection It came into force in May 2018 to control more strictly the treatment companies make of users' personal data. The report reveals that more than half of Spanish consumers are generally comfortable with the use of their personal data to obtain personalized experiences in the services. In addition, only 1.5% of users would give their data to receive personalized offers of products and services. 4.2% would do it in exchange for money.
Another challenge that has been opened up with new technologies is how stop the proliferation and dissemination of false news. The consulting firm Gartner predicts that by 2022 most citizens of countries with mature economies will consume more false than true information. The report underlines the influence of fake news in the 2016 elections in the United Statess, in the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom or because of independence referendum on October 1 in Catalonia.
To face all these challenges, multiple professionals in the sector are necessary. In Spain, according to the report, there are at least 10,000 unoccupied jobs in the digital sector due to the lack of qualified profiles. Among them, software engineers, programmers, specialists in big data and data processing, visual designers of interfaces or user experience and engineers specializing in robotics.
Spain has a level of fiber optic penetration to the home of 71%. This figure is higher than the sum of the percentages of the United Kingdom, France and Germany combined. And within the framework of the OECD, this country is only surpassed in households with fiber by South Korea and Japan. The report highlights the growth: in 2012, fiber optic coverage to the home was 9%.
On the other hand, coverage of 4G networks reached 97.2% of the population, when in 2014 it was only 47.8%. In this context, Spain has already taken the first steps towards the new 5G mobile generation. This technology will offer up to 20 times the speed of 4G and will allow a decrease in latency – the response time from when an order is given to a device until it is executed – and more density of devices connected to each air unit. "Those countries that previously adopted the new generation of mobile connectivity will be those that welcome the technological giants of the future," Francisco Polo, secretary of state for the Digital Advance of the Ministry of Economy and Business, said in the presentation.