Millennials and Media

January 25, 2011

How has the Millennial generation been influenced by media and technology? Thom and Jess Rainer attempt to answer that question in their book, The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation. Their survey of 1,200 older Millennials provides a detailed look at this generation.

When technology first comes on the scene, there are early adopters then a significant majority and finally laggards. Millennials fit into the category of early adopters. In the survey they were asked if they agree with the following statement: “I am usually among the first people to acquire products featuring new technology.” About half agreed with the statement, and half disagreed with the statement. And even for those who disagreed, it is safe to say they did not fit into the category of laggards. Millennials are quick to embrace new technology.

When asked how they most frequently communicate when not actually with the other person, they rated phone first (39 percent), then texting (37 percent), and then e-mail (16 percent). At the bottom was by letter (1 percent). The survey also noticed a difference between older and younger Millennials. Put simply, the younger you are, the more likely you are to communicate by texting.

Social media is also a significant part of the lifestyle of a Millennial. Not surprisingly, the most popular social media site was Facebook (73 percent), followed by MySpace (49 percent).

Although social media can be accessed in many ways, still the most pervasive is through the computer. Millennials use computers both for work and for personal use. Most Millennials (83 percent) use a computer for work and spend about 17 hours on it each week. And Millennials spend 17 hours per week on computers for personal use.

If you put these numbers together, you find something shocking. The average Millennial spends 17 hours per week on a computer for work, and spends the same amount of time on a computer for personal use. That totals 34 hours per week on a computer. “That means that roughly one-third of Millennials’ waking lives are spent on a computer.”

If Christians are to reach the Millennial generation, it is important to know how they use media and technology. I’m Kerby Anderson, and that’s my point of view.