Don’t blame millennials for the national Facebook fixation. Or society’s growing phone addiction.
The generation most obsessed by electronic BFFs are the middle-aged, according to a report by the media-analysis company Nielsen. Generation X members also spend more time on social media pages and consume more media overall.
Gen Xers, those between the age of 35 to 49, spend nearly seven hours a week on social media. Millennials (18 to 34 year olds), who come in second, spend just over six hours a week. In contrast, the older group of people 50 and over, baby boomers and their parents, spend just four hours a week or so e-socializing.
Generation X members also spend almost 32 hours a week toggling between all media, compared to about 27 hours for millennials and about 20 hours for the 50 and older set. And it’s mostly women who do this.
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"They’re female," writes Sean Casey, president of Nielsen Social on the company website, and "25 percent of their time online is spent on social media (vs.19 percent of males), and they reach across cultures."
What’s more, they’re media multi-taskers. “They’re likely to be on Facebook on Sundays via smartphone, while watching prime time," Casey added.
This media consumption is about more than sharing selfies, however. The ubiquity of the smart phone and the accessibility of social media, what Nielsen calls the new megaphone, has revolutionized the way people communicate about a variety of topics.
“It has, literally, given those with just a voice the power to speak to the world and has provided consumers with a platform to break news, start dialogues and share views about content,” concludes another Nielsen page.