What do we know about millennials? Whilst there’s no defined age range for this category, they are usually referred to as being born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. We know they’ll probably spend most of their lives struggling to break into the Sydney housing market and overindulge in smashed avo toast to compensate. Surveys and qualitative data from Pedestrian, presented at the Millennial 20/20 Summit, also indicates Millennials live and die by the group chat.
Millennials have group chats for everything: squad events, pure banter, work groups, YTB, you name it. Within these chat groups exist typical social media characters, including “the landfill”, the unfortunate butt of jokes and “the lie-low guy”, who ‘sees’ every single message but doesn’t ever respond or contribute. He or she is probably hiding in the bushes outside your house right now. Throw in “the lost one”, whose brain sits five minutes behind everybody else’s, the “look at this guy”, who not only needs to know what type of bread Buzzfeed says he is, but what type of bread each person in the chat is, and that girl who just never. ever. shuts up (thank God for the mute option). Mix these all together and you get a pretty decent idea of the typical millennial group chat.
Pedestrian questioned three thousand people on their online entertainment and recreation habits. 63% of those surveyed said group chats are the primary form of communication in their friendship groups. 80% believe group chat is the main way they organise their friends.
The same number claimed group chat is more important to their social activities than social media.
74% of meme-lord millennials have used group chat to distribute memes. 70% have shared gifs and 66% have shared personal photographs (perhaps selfies of the “which one should be my DP” variety?). More than half have shared links to news stories, and 44% have used group chat to post videos found on the internet.
Over the last five years or so, long-term social media trends have been established. Social media’s honeymoon period has truly come to an end. Collectively we are far more comfortable using the internet to meet new people. We’ve seen social media move from being a ‘friends-only’ place to more inclusive of strangers and acquaintances; our online personas are searchable by employers and more.
We’ve also come to be more aware of the mental health issues associated with excessive social internet use. Although we can safely say that social media has made the world a more convenient, efficient, and perhaps even smaller place, we’re unsure if it has made the world a better place.