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Spoiler Alert: Millennials Can't Get Enough of Social Media

Their older counterparts can go a lot longer without checking their feeds

June 9, 2017


A new study from private software research company Qualtrics and venture capital firm Accel looked at how plugged in to social media internet users in North America, the UK and Australia really are. It found that many millennials haven’t gone more than five hours without checking social media.

Internet Users in Australia, North America and the UK Who Haven't Gone 5 Hours Without Social Media, by Generation, Nov 2016 (% of respondents in each group)

In fact, 42% of millennial respondents said they hadn’t lasted five hours without checking their feeds. (Time spent sleeping was excluded from the survey.)

And unsurprisingly, millennials were less able to refrain from social media than their older counterparts. Just over one-quarter (26%) of Gen Xers hadn’t gone five hours without social media, while 29% of baby boomers said the same.

So are millennials just really into constantly checking their Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat feeds, or do they simply have a lot of time on their hands?

“In looking at data on how much time millennials spend looking at screens, it’s worth bearing in mind that this cohort has tended to delay things like getting married and having kids,” said eMarketer analyst Mark Dolliver. “Let’s see if they still spend hours crafting memes for Instagram when they’ve got kids and spouses and houses in the suburbs to deal with.”

“Obviously they won’t stop using technology, but they simply won’t have as much time for the recreational use of it,” he added. “A lot of social and other internet usage can be classified in the category of ‘killing time.’ And you’re less inclined to kill time when various responsibilities mean you don’t have all that much of it to spend as you please.”

Meanwhile, separate research from the they’re worried they may miss something online.

But this need has also brought on a lot of stress. Nearly half of millennials surveyed by the APA were worried about the ways social media might affect their physical and mental health.

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