“Millennials spend way too much time on their phones.”
As a practicing Millennial, I hear this approximately 32.6 times a day. Yeah, I’ll admit it—I spend a lot of time on my phone. But some people (A.K.A. baby boomers) refuse to realize that no, I’m not always taking selfies on Snapchat or tweeting about my latest relationship status (which, if you’re wondering, hasn’t changed. I’m still single).
A common misconception of the Millennial generation lies in the belief that Millennials only care about one thing: themselves. I’m here to tell you that no, it’s not all about me. We are hungry for news. We are engaged in current events. We are interested in so much more than the two by four inch screen at our fingers.
According to the American Press Institute, 64 percent of Millennials stay up to date with world news. In fact, keeping up the news is the fourth most popular activity in the Millennial generation, behind checking and sending emails, staying in touch with friends and watching movies.
Wait! These statistics can’t possibly match up! How can we, as disengaged, self-absorbed Millennials, check the news when all we do is spend time on our phones?
API says that 82 percent of Millennials get their news from online sources. I can confirm this statement. Every day when I wake up, I check all of my news outlets for the latest info. These include CNN, BuzzFeed, Time, NPR News, The Economist, Forbes, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The majority of my news, however, comes not from the newspaper sitting on my kitchen table, but from social media.
Take Twitter, for example. You get instant news from all of your favorite publications, you can share it to your followers to spread information and you can favorite tweets to go back and read them at a later time. Genius!
Maybe I am on social media a lot. Maybe I do spend too much time on my phone. But before you make the quick assumption that I’m wasting my time taking selfies or obsessing over the latest meme, maybe you should consider the radical idea that I care about this world. My phone is just a catalyst to help me do so.
Don’t Mind Me: I’m Just a Millennial is a weekly column about the moments and mishaps of the Millennial generation. Written by Editor-in-Chief Erin Thomas.