Who are the Millennials
Wikipedia suggest that Millennials are those born between the late 1980s and 1990s. Neil Howe and William Strauss define the group as “as those born in 1982 and approximately the 20 years thereafter.”
Millennials love their Mobile Devices
According to eMarketer.com,when it comes to smartphones, millennials are more likely than their elders to want a smartphone device, and more likely than teens to have the option of buying one.
According to ComScore, in a recent survey In the U.S 95% of millennials use a mobile phone, while 25% own a tablet.
The most interesting and possibly most scary thing about millennials and their mobile usage is how quickly it’s all come around. Just over a decade ago, almost all web browsing was happening on desktops and laptops. As a millennial I never really noticed this at first as being on your mobile for the internet is just the normal thing to do. The rapid growth of our mobile usage is so rapid it’s effect can already be seen in such a short space of time. ExtremeTech says that in December 2015, desktop Internet use was down 9.5% compared with the previous year. In January 2016 it was down 7.6%. February and March of this year were better at 2% and 6% down, but the trend looks to be continuing.
What are the dangers of Millennials increased use of mobiles?
Maybe it’s human nature to fear what we don’t yet know. I know personally where I come from in Clonakilty, a somewhat traditional area, that people can be reluctant to change (Just try using WiFi down there, It’s non existent.) However, we cannot deny that millennials increased usage of the internet via mobiles is worrying. Sure we are all connected quicker and easier than ever before. But look at the negatives too, Cyber bullying and constantly living under the lens of a camera wherever we go. According to GuardChild, more than half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same number have engaged in cyber bullying. On top of that of those who admitted they had been bullied, 87 % said it had happened on Facebook, 19 % on Twitter and 13 % on BlackBerry Messenger.
I don’t know what it was like 15 or 20 years ago, but when you’re on a night out in Cork city and hear a couple screaming “I now you’re lying, I saw you in her Snap chat story” you know things are changing. Too often do we hear about who saw what or who;s lying because of a 3 second video that may only hold half the truth. Yes our mobiles allow us to communicate more but it can also cause huge conflict.
In my own opinion, the most terrifying thing is how permanent mistakes have become because of being a millennials with our mobiles. We don’t have the luxury of past generations to make a mistake and learn from it. Instead, thanks to our technology and social media apps, our mistakes are there to be viewed by all, including future employers. The reputation of millennials alone already sets out a negative mindset for many employers.
A solution for our mobile usage disasters?
To see how misuse if our mobile usage can occur, we need not look further than the case of Kristy Preece, who was dismissed from her job on the grounds that she had breached the company’s internet policy by lowering its reputation. I think the solution to our risks of mobile usage as millennials lies in education. We can go into a shop and with no training use what is probably some of the most advanced technology in he last 30 years from the age of 13 up. Schools should implement modules or possibly a small course on the risks and ethical use of the web and mobiles.
Mobiles are amazing and we are lucky enough to be in a generation at the forefront of developing something that’s changed the way the world works. But its so important we take responsibility for this change and use it smartly.