So for my short time as a researcher, I have focused on Millennials in various capacities. It’s something that is very timely, and cuts across various fields of interest. And, of course, as a Millennial myself, I have a personal interest in my own generation. It’s been fascinating to see what academic research shows when put up against my own anecdotal life stories.
But sometimes this is difficult, because many of the characteristic traits of the Millennials tend to, on the surface, show a skew towards the hyper-extroverted, hyper-outgoing. Particularly when compared with the Boomer counterparts, Millennials are extremely connected, constantly barraged my media, and constantly sharing (and sometimes over-sharing) their lives.
And this is true, but it’s more accurate to think about this as a delta between Millennials and prior generations. I’m quite the introvert, and so sometimes it feel that I’m ‘not Millennial enough’. What I mean by that, is I really only personally am active on a few social media platforms, and even then post nowhere near as frequently as my peers. I much prefer to take in information and keep up with others. But even that is far less frequently – it is more common for me to have not seen something on FaceBook when asked than to have seen it, because I just don’t connect that frequently.
But compare this to introverts of the past. A heavy introvert of the past ultimately had an extremely small social network, and rarely interacted with the social structure at large. Compare that to now, when even introverts such as myself tend to interact with social media several times a day, even if we only post occasionally. This reluctance to frequently post should not be equated with lack of digital savvy. As digital natives, even the most introverted Millennials are well-versed in social platforms. And even if we aren’t intimately familiar, we can pick it up in a heartbeat.