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Youth Updated: 22 Aug 2017

Life through the screen: the millennial generation

All eyes are on them: a group of 80 million people in the United States and somewhere over 51 million in Europe, who by 2025 will represent 75% of the world's workforce. 81% have a profile on Facebook and 83% sleep with their cellphone.

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The first completely digital generation live their lives addicted to WhatsApp. According to this study by Cambridge University Press carried out in Spain, almost half of them spend one hour a day and 14% almost three hours a day. When asked which social network they use most on a daily basis, Whatsapp is the clear leader with 95%, followed by Facebook (65%) and YouTube (44%).

The so-called millennial generation (all those young people who reached adulthood with the change of the century, in 2000) spend several hours a day online, and over 25 a week, as highlighted by this study by Forrester. They are constantly immersed in social networks and mobile technology.

Technology, in turn, is carefully monitoring this generation Y (those who today are aged between 18 and 33), as proved by the thousands of studies on their habits to be found on the Internet. All eyes are on them: a group of 80 million people in the United States, a little over eight million in Spain and 51 million in Europe, who by 2025 –according to the consultants Deloitte– will represent 75% of the world's workforce. 81% have a profile on Facebook and 83% sleep with their cellphone.

They have the following defining features:

  1. They're digital natives. They prefer the Internet to conventional television. 59% watch films on the Internet, and 46% on television and on Internet too, a significantly higher proportion than in other age groups.
  2. Multiscreen and multi-device. They use multiple channels and digital devices for their activities. They have the capability and the need to do various things at the same time. In the United States, according to Nielsen, the number of television hours consumed by the segment aged between 18 and 24 declined by almost one hour a day, and seven out of every ten Spaniards wants total freedom to watch videos at any time and in any place.  Verizon highlights that the millennials triple the consumption of online television.
  3. Nomophobes and appdicts. This is the way this article in Forbes defines it: their life is their cellphone, and their main access screen to the Internet is now a mobile screen. 78% of the millennials in Latin America have a cellphone (up 10% since the previous year), 37% have a tablet, 70% a laptop and 57% a desktop computer, according to Telefónica Global Millennial Survey 2014. They are addicted to their cellphones, they feel the need to be constantly connected and 45% admit that they could not live without their smartphone for a single day. Demand from the millennials is driving the extraordinary growth in mobile apps (5 million app downloads are recorded on the Appstore every day).
  4. Social and connected. They're extremely social. 81% have a profile on Facebook and 83% sleep with their cellphone. The super-connected millennials consider themselves better prepared for their working life at the end of their degrees and even score higher in their leadership skills (32% as opposed to 16%), as shown in this study by Deloitte.
  5. Critical and demanding. They're much more critical, demanding and volatile. In fact 86% of today's consumers declare that they would stop doing business with a company if they had a poor customer experience, compared to 59% four years ago. And for the millennials, negative digital experiences online and on mobile devices have a much greater negative impact than on other age groups.

Finally we should highlight their technological dependence even in the world of workThis study by the consultants Deloitte points out that “Google and Apple were chosen by 11% of the Millennium Generation from among the companies that are most closely identified with the concept of leadership. Coca-Cola (6%) and Microsoft (5%) ranked immediately after, followed by Samsung (4%).

Technology wants the millennium generation, and they too are keen to work in technology companies.