Millennials more tech savvy, less money-focused than older generations

WASHINGTON: Seventy-five percent of millennials have posted a profile onto social networking sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, compared to only 50% of the slightly older Generation X, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

WASHINGTON: Seventy-five percent of millennials have posted a profile onto social networking sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, compared to only 50% of the slightly older Generation X, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

The research, aimed at comparing the values and behavior of the millennial generation to older adults, found 29% of adults age 18 to 29 use social networking several times a day, with one-in-five posting a video of themselves online.

“The millennials really grew up with digital as a strong influence in the household,” said Matt Britton, CEO and founder of Mr Youth, a New York-based agency specializing in youth marketing. “They came of age when technology affected everything they did, from shopping to school. It's second nature to them.”

The organization also revealed that while 94% of millennials use a cell phone, 41% maintain a cell only with no land line in their home. And although the group as a whole seems more open to sharing information via social networks, the majority place privacy settings on their personal profiles.

“Because technology was so prevalent during their childhood, parents of millennials had a huge influence on how they use these channels,” Britton said. “Young people are highly cognizant of safety issues surrounding the digital world.”

Thirty-seven percent of the millennial generation identify themselves as unemployed, the highest rate among this age group in more than three decades. Only 19% of the millennial generation report being satisfied with their income, down from 38% when the study was last conducted four years ago. However, an overwhelming 90% say they're optimistic about their prospects for the future.

“There are a number of theories on why millennials are so optimistic. A lot of millennials were raised in a time when their parents were doing well,” Britton said. “Their focus is on issues of family and politics, not on making money.”

The research also found this group to be more ethnically and racially diverse than older adults, less religious, and less likely to have served in the military. About 60% were raised by both parents, and millennials place more importance on family and marriage than career and financial success.

“This generation was raised when money wasn't as much of an issue, relatively speaking, as other generations,” Britton said. “They're much more altruistic, concerned about the environment and global issues. Money isn't their number one priority.”

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