It should come as no surprise when you read an article that points out millennials engage more with their devices than they do with actual humans. After all, young adults – and even those humans much younger – are a tech-driven generation, with most of them growing up in homes without landlines, a stereo, or dial-up internet. And even those that can vaguely remember their parents having an actual answering machine, the more vivid memories of communicating during their pre-teen/teenage years often go hand-in-hand with laughing at their mom’s old Nokia phone (not that there’s anything wrong with Nokia!).
Millennials are usually on the cutting edge when it comes to technology, largely in part because they’ve lived with smartphones as a part of their daily lives for so long. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, as well as how they get and listen to music, are all delivered to a device that fits in the palm of their hand.
Let’s face it: it’s much quicker and easier to snap a photo of where you are and who you’re with then share it with whoever you’d like in seconds than it is to whip out your 35mm camera, take a photo, drive to the store to get it developed, wait until they’re ready, pick them up, buy a stamp, and mail them to Aunt Gertrude in Omaha.
Many studies in the last 18 months have shown that millennials are opting for digital interaction much more than face-to-face, but the latest one to come out suggests Gen Y-ers are actually hiding behind their phones to avoid face-to-face communication in one situation specifically.
This Is A Common Sight At Airports Today
According to Market Watch, 39-percent of millennials admit that they engage more with their phones than they do with friends, co-workers, and family members.
But even a more surprising number of millennials admit they purposely hide behind their devices to avoid one industry in particular: the airlines.
61% of the 2,000 millennials surveyed admitted to hiding behind electronic devices in order to avoid interacting with airline staff, according to market research firm Mintel. It may not sound like an overwhelming number until you compare it to older generations. Less than half of Gen X-ers (people born between 1965 and 1980) said they avoid airline personnel while just 37-percent of baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) said they do. Automated technology is increasingly replacing people for cost-savings and convenience, and few travelers still value the human touch in the process.
Before jumping on the narrative that is often – usually unfairly – associated with millennials (“entitled” and “lazy”), here’s something to consider, the airlines themselves have gravitated more and more toward automated technology and is using it to decrease the number of humans they employ for cost-saving and convenience purposes, so is it hypocritical, then, to expect millennials to value the interaction of people in the process?