Millennials are officially the largest population in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That means the generation with arguably the worst reputation is now the most populous. You might have heard that 18- to 34-year-olds are more lazy, more selfish, and actually the worst (depending on where you get your information from), but there’s a reason for that.
Regardless what you think about them, their generation is now the most populous, and the world is going to change to fit the millennial lifestyle. That is the benefit of being the most populous in the country, and it likely means you can expect some changes in technology use. After all, millennials prefer a lifestyle centered around certain technologies, and companies will want to conform to that lifestyle quickly to keep the cash flow coming in.
Here are some of the technologies you can expect to become more (or less) popular now that millennials have overrun the country.
News will be dictated by social media
A media insight study found that, on 13 different news topics, Facebook was the number one way millennials got informed. The social network was the number two method of newsgathering for seven additional topics. Media companies revolve on a 24-hour news cycle, but social media will feed us the news we actually read.
The smartphone will replace practically everything else
According to a Refuel Agency study, millennials spend 6.3 hours a day on their smartphones. Compare that to 3.5 hours on the computer, 1.9 on tablets, and 3.5 on TV. The same study also found that the cell phone was the number one product millennials said they couldn’t live without. Food was number two.
Goodbye cigarettes, hello e-cigs
The days of burning old school tobacco leaves rolled in paper will soon be over. The National Center for Health Statistics found in 2015 that cigarette smoking is in decline but that more than 20 percent of adults aged 18 to 24 had tried vaping at least once.
Emojis will express more emotion than words
A Bangor University study found that 72 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds find that emojis help them express emotions. What’s more, 40 percent claimed to regularly send messages that have nothing but emojis. 👍
Travel agents won’t be needed anymore
When it comes to getting flights, tours, and accommodations, a Top Deck Travel study found that 71 percent of millennials prefer to do it themselves — or, as the study puts it, “I do it myself. Like a baws.” (Take any research that includes language like that with a grain of salt, of course.)
Smartphones will be chosen over cameras for travel photos
The same Top Deck Travel study that had the questionable wording also found that phones are the photography tools of the future. Only 2 percent of millennials claimed to not take pictures when they traveled, and 39 percent said they only took photos with their smartphone.
Less car ownership
A KPMG study projects that the number of miles that cars drive will go up, but the number of cars owned will go down. That’s because millennials are moving to the cities and ditching their expensive, polluting vehicles. Who needs car ownership when you live in the sharing economy?