In recent decades, technology has been one of the predominant driving forces in changing the way that people relate to each other. However, the way that different generations use this technology varies quite drastically. One of the generations that is most responsible for transforming the way that technology is used is the Millennial generation. The term Millennials refers to individuals born between the years 1979 and 1996. The Millennial generation, with over 1.5 billion people worldwide, has long been a generation that shapes the way modern culture, specifically technology, looks.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. People are increasingly looking for ways to stay current with the lives of their friends and family, and Facebook represents one of the best ways to do so. With innumerable pictures, posts, and articles available at the click of a button, staying up-to-date has never been easier. However, Millennials are recently beginning to use Facebook for less social reasons, signaling a shift in the way that people use social media.

Millennials assert that even if they log in to Facebook for social reasons, they will interact with posts that are not social, such as news articles, if they happen to see such articles. Thus, Millennials are increasingly using social media instead of traditional news sources to stay up-to-date on current world events. Newspapers and magazines are now being overlooked in favor of the convenience and accessibility that characterizes Facebook articles and posts. Millennials’ changing use of Facebook then represents a new divergence from the purely social reasons for which people have used social media in the past.

Twitter

One aspect of the current culture that is especially unique to Millennials is the fact that they use different social media platforms to achieve different goals. While Millennials use Facebook primarily to stay current on the lives of their friends and family, they use Twitter to keep up with the current cultural discussions and trending stories. Twitter has become a medium for Millennials to have a dialogue about relevant issues and problems. Whether the tweets center on a significant political incident or a trending topic in pop culture, Twitter is one of the best places to find immediate public reactions to global events.

While many different generations are now dedicated Facebook users, Twitter users are primarily younger Millennials. These younger Millennials, while using Twitter to stay up-to-date on current trending events, also use Twitter to find humorous memes, threads, or articles. Twitter is a sort of global forum for the Millennial generation to share current topics, post amusing memes, and engage with competing ideas.

Altering Usage

As Millennials are changing the way that they use social media platforms, they are also adjusting the way that they are allowing social media to portray them. Millennials are increasingly modifying their privacy settings for social media platforms to allow only certain people to view their pictures and posts. In a world dominated by and filled with social media posts, Millennials are beginning to tailor their social media accounts to a narrower, more exclusive audience.

Millennials are not only changing their privacy settings, but they are also revising the reasons for which they use social media. Millennials are now using social media as a means to promote their seemingly flawless life. For most Millennials, social media posts are a painstakingly thought-out task. Getting the perfect angle on the perfect picture to ensure the most likes on a post has usurped the joy of taking a picture at all. This need for affirmation from a virtual audience is quickly becoming a distinguishing feature of Millennial culture.

As more and more Millennials are using social media for longer amounts of time, they are beginning to experience a feeling called social fatigue. The hours spent checking social media feeds are actually beginning to impact the way that Millennials are feeling. While they may know that they are essentially addicted to social media, for most Millennials, the solution to social fatigue (i.e. time spent without technology) is simply unthinkable and therefore ignored. For now, it seems as though social media will be a permanent fixture in our society and remain a hallmark of Millennial culture.

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Reference & Future Reading

Insights and research data provided by Kantar Futures