Although it’s clear, based on the results of our study, that Millennials have embraced social media as a means of interacting with one another, there does not appear to be a negative correlation between social networking and real-life social interaction.
In fact, our data shows that, globally, regions with the highest incidences of real-life social interaction among Millennials also have the highest prevalence of social media (I have created at least one social media account). This would appear to run counter to the idea that the use of social media is somehow cannibalizing social interaction.
These results fall in line with our own social values analysis of Canadian Millennials. We have consistently seen that, when compared to all Canadians, Millennials are more likely to value Social Learning and Introspection & Empathy. Moreover, Millennials have shown a greater degree of Time Stress when compared to Gen Xers at the same age, as well as displaying a higher Adaptability to Complexity.
All of these value alignments combined tell the story of a demographic group that is simply more social in nature. As Millennials attempt to fit more social interaction into their already time-strapped lives, they are more likely to seek out new and innovative ways to socialize through technology. Rather than substituting one social interaction for another, Millennials are more likely to be seeking out platforms in addition to real-life interactions that allow them to stay connected and adaptable in a way that fits their lives.