Smartphones Used More By Millennials Than Any Other Generation
July 1, 2014

Smartphones Used More By Millennials Than Any Other Generation

Peter Suciu for - Your Universe Online

Each generation tends to look at technology differently, and today's "Millennial" generation certainly uses smartphones differently than their older peers.

According to a new study conducted by Experian Marketing Services, Millennial adults aged 18 to 34 spend 14.5 hours in a typical week using a smartphone. This includes texting, talking and accessing social media; as well, Millennials connect with their handsets more than any other generation.

The study, "Millennials Come of Age," which is part of Experian Marketing Services ConsumerSpeak series, noted that the term "millennial" often evokes an image of "an apathetic teenager playing video games and texting his friend on the other side of the room. With the leading edge of Millennials entering their early 30s, however, this incredibly diverse and well-connected generation is growing up."

The report found that Millennials are also the most digitally-connected generation with 77 percent of adults in this age group owning a smartphone; and moreover spending so much time on their devices that they actually account for 41 percent of the total time that Americans spend using their smartphones. This is despite the fact that they make up just 29 percent of the total adult population of the United States.

"Millennials are true digital natives. Having grown up in the age of the Internet and mobile phones, it is important for marketers to understand their unique outlook on technology and connectivity when targeting this group," said John Fetto, senior analyst, marketing and research, at Experian Marketing Services, via a statement. "Millennials are the first mobile-dominant generation. It is how they connect to and communicate with the world, and as such, they need to be connected constantly, from the moment they wake up until they go to bed at night."

The Experian study found that Millennials are "mobile dominant," with 50 percent of those in the age group who own a smartphone saying that they access the Internet more often through the handset than a computer; and they spend more time using media than other generations. Millennials were found to spend approximately 9.5 hours a day, or 67 hours a week, compared with 61 hours that adults ages 35 and older spend using media per week.

Millennials are also the first generation to devote the majority of their "media time" with digital media, and spend some 35 hours a week with digital media and 32 hours a week with traditional media – and are 1.7 times more likely than smartphone owners 35 and older to use travel apps, 1.5 times more likely to use VOIP apps such as Skype, 1.4 times more likely to use sports apps and 1.2 times more likely to use classified apps such as Craigslist the study found.

"While the rest of adults see smartphones and the Internet as revolutionary, for Millennials, they're just part of the natural order of things. As such, they have expectations about how things should work that may seem unrealistic to those who grew up without such technologies," added Fetto. "Technology and connectivity is not a want for this generation; it's a need."

There may be one facet of smartphones that Millennials don't use however. The New York Times reported last month that Millennials are increasingly shying away from voice mail and instead use text messaging as a way to stay connected.

Alexandra Petri, writing for The Washington Post, even offered her thoughts on not only voice mail but even making a call with a smartphone, "Phone calls are terrible. Either the other party picks up, in which case you have to spend several minutes completely forgetting what it was you had to tell him or her, pausing to allow the other person to speak, then speaking over each other, then pausing, then discovering that you are totally unable to get out of the conversation."

She added, "The only people who still use their smartphones to place actual calls to live humans are our parents, to our grandparents' land lines."


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