If you’re tweeting while watching Big Bang Theory, checking your Tumblr dashboard during The Simpsons, or posting a brief status update on Facebook while watching Doctor Who, you’re multitasking. If you do this all and more, you’re likely to be a Millennial, says new research.
Online marketing news website eMarketer released an article on social television this past spring. It cited Deloitte’s “Digital Democracy Survey,” which found that while tweeting, posting a status update, and other social media activity while watching television are on the rise among all American Millennials — the generation of young Americans between the ages of 14-30 — that are most likely to post while watching.
About 48 percent of Millennials surveyed for Deloitte’s research used social media while watching television. In comparison, 26 percent of Generation X, Americans age 31-47, 14 percent of Baby Boomers, and just 5 percent of older Americans said they used social media while watching television. Across the survey, this group of American teens and young adults were most likely to engage in every type of activity listed while watching television from texting to online shopping. Unsurprisingly, they were those least likely to say they did nothing else watching television.
Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are considered digital natives. The oldest were in elementary school when the World Wide Web was born 25 years ago, while the youngest were born near the turn of the millennium. This window allowed them to adapt to the rapidly growing world of the Internet and mobile phones during childhood and adolescence, making the transition easier for them than it was for their older peers. They were the teenagers and preteens who used AIM instant messaging, MySpace, and among the earliest audiences who jumped to Facebook when it expanded beyond colleges.
Other studies have also found that the group are digitally savvy multitaskers, reaffirming the finding that they’re more likely than other generational groups to use social media while watching television, a form of multitasking that fits in with previous findings about this group. A Pew Research Foundation post found they were most likely to have a Facebook account out of any other group with 81 percent of its Millennial sample on Facebook. In the research, it also labels the group as avid social media users.
Despite Millennials being most likely to multitask while watching television, among all age groups, we’re all getting less likely to just watch television without doing anything else. Multitasking while watching television is growing among all age groups. Overall, 86 percent of Americans multitask while watching television the Deloitte research found. Surfing the ‘net was the top activity its sample group admitted to doing while watching television.
Multitasking is often a mix of activates where individual tasks have little relation to each other. What we do while multitasking is often unrelated to whatever we’re watching, and in most cases the research found that texting a friend about plans for Monday while watching Game of Thrones is not uncommon.