We’ve all probably noticed and heard reports that the millennial generation doesn’t do too well talking on the phone and would much prefer sending a text or writing an email. But some new research is showing that people ages 18 to 24 have a really hard time talking face-to-face with someone they don’t yet know and would much prefer making that first contact online.
Daily Mail reports about the new study from Cancer Research that finds close to half of millennials ages 18 to 24 feel more comfortable using social media or other apps to speak with a stranger than doing it face-to-face. This group has become very adept at using their smartphones to communicate with others through social media and messaging apps like WhatsApp. But researchers worry that their reliance on technology is hindering their ability to speak with people in real life.
This type of reliance on smartphones can lead to isolation and effect poor health. Cancer prevention specialist, Dr.Rebecca Beeken, worries that the young people who tend to avoid conversing without their smartphone may face negative health consequences. She says, “Social isolation can be associated with poor health and poorer health behaviours, and we know social support is important for adopting healthy lifestyle changes. These changes can play an important role in helping to prevent cancer.”
Consulting firm Deloitte reported that in 2015 a quarter of smartphone users were no longer making a weekly voice call. Instead we text, stream videos and email upwards of 90 minutes per day. And the 18 to 24 age group also differs in that they are 20 times less likely to ever talk to their neighbors than those in the plus 55 age group. And more than a quarter of millenials said that they had never spoken with a stranger on public transport and close to half drown out the world by wearing their headphones.
What do you think of this new research that suggests young millennials avoid speaking with people face-to-face?
Do you think this type of behavior can negatively impact their health?