35 statistics describing the millennial teenager

It’s not an unusual sight to see my daughter fall asleep with her phone in her hand–I’ve often teased her that the phone has become an appendage. Texting, Facebook updates, Instagram, etc… is simply a “way of life” for teenagers.

The question is: what do we do about this reality? Curse it? Figure out how to maximize it? Ignore it? What do you think?

Here’s the most recent stats of millennials and technology:

The Millennial Teenager
Courtesy of: Online Schools

Question: How does this technological reality impact your ministry? Both pros & cons? Share it here.

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  • http://www.youthministrymedia.ca kolby milton

    I think we have to embrace this culture and the digital world they live in.  Community is being exteneded online, and I think for my ministry it has been and will adapt to help extend the youth ministry online.  The goal of my youth ministry is to have face to face contact, but I see connections/friendships happening online and this is great.  One book you need to read is Grown up digital by Don Tapscott!  Great book on the Millennials.  

  • http://joshhevans.wordpress.com/ Josh Evans

    I agree with Kolby. We have to embrace it. The question is how? I am 27 years old, and I fall into some of these categories as well, but still being 27, I feel out of touch with the 16 year old. They cannot remember a day without cell phones and internet. I still can. Therefore, it is more a part of who they are rather than to us a luxury. Does that make sense? I sure hope so. 

    Love the statistics Doug. I am definitely using these and sharing it. 

  • David Hertweck

    I did a presentation recently on loneliness in teenagers and started my presentation by looking at social media/texting statistics.  A couple observations as to how they relate:

    1) Because of the style of, and preference for, online/texting communication, normal social skills seem to be suffering.  Teens say things through a computer that they would never say face to face for a variety of reasons.  It becomes less about communication (two way) and more about broadcasting (one way). Many teenagers struggle with basic conversation skills, social etiquette. 

    2) Because of the nature of online communications, this generation layers its lives (multiple identities) more readily and easily than previous one.  This leads to feelings of isolations because no one really knows the ‘real them’.

    3) Because of the accessibility and opportunities of online communications, you don’t need to interact with a human being anymore to live.  You can shop, learn, work, ‘go to church’ without actually talking to another human being.

    This all leads to the reality that although this generation is radically more connected than previous ones, they are experiencing profound feelings of loneliness and isolation. And loneliness that can’t be explained away is worse.  

    With the world at their fingertips, their friends a text away, their growing FB friends list, FB group involvement, their Twitter followers and their online gaming communities there is NO reason they should feel alone.  But they do.  

    Here’s what I think Christianity offers that is UNIQUE to other communities:
    1) A community that all share the same starting point: sinful beyond belief.  
    We need to be brutally honest about this with teenagers.
    2) A community that all share the same centrality: loved beyond hope.  
    We need to be intentional in helping our groups lean into this reality.
    3) A community that all share a God who experienced and embraced loneliness so we would never have to be truly alone. 
    We need to be relentless in proclaiming the Gospel. 


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  • http://www.cpyu.org/ Walt Mueller

    Thanks Doug! Stuff we need to think about. Kolby, I would disagree with you. Rather than embrace it, I think we need to think about it, ponder it, move cautiously, and enlist/embrace what we should when that means moving forward in spiritual growth and maturity. I’ve read all of Tapscott’s stuff and don’t think he really gets it. He’s far too positive and doesn’t consider the worldview ethos we’re living in, the potential downsides of technology, etc. Read Tapscott again and then dive into some of the other stuff that’s out there that offers a more cautious and critical look. I think Tapscott is to the technology stuff what Howe and Strauss have been to generational theory. . . far too uncritical and optimistic. If you’re interested, I could recommend some additional books for you to check out.

    • http://www.youthministrymedia.ca kolby milton

      Thanks Walt.  I agree that Tapscott is way to generous to this millennial generation.  I have read Tapscott’s Grown up digital three times, and I wrestle with it because I fall into the millennial category.  I would love some other book suggestions! or to hear your thoughts on the downfalls of the digital generation.  

      • http://www.cpyu.org/ Walt Mueller

        Kolby. . . thanks for being so gracious to me! I’m glad your read my response in the way I had tried to communicate it. I’m passionate about these things for several reasons. I just finished 5 months of immersion in this stuff as preparation to launch our Digital Kids Initiative here at CPYU – would love for you to see the little bit that’s been put out so far – http://www.digitalkidsintiative.com – and hear your thoughts. So. . . to the reading. . . and I’ll start with one of your fellow Canadians, Tim Challies and his book “The Next Story.” Very, very good. In fact, I’m going to blog on it this morning as I use the same infographic Doug posted yesterday. Also, have you watched Sherry Turkle’s TED talk? Wow. Other books include Maggie Jackson’s “Distracted” and Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows.” Check out my blog later today for more (www.learningmylines.blogspot.com) – I’ll give you a shout out as you have served to spark some good thoughts.

        • http://www.youthministrymedia.ca kolby milton

          hey walt, thanks for the response. I did check out your website yesterday and I think it is desperately needed. I also stumbled on to your recommended resources and I am picking up Tim Challies Book, The Next Story. It looks really great. I will also watch Sherry Turkle’s video at some point today. I have read Nicholas Carr’s book, The Shallows, and I thought that he was far too critical of this generation. Carr’s book came across as negative, and judgemental. I was really disappointed that Carr never gave any recommendations for this millennial generation.

          I will be subscribing to your blog! Looking forward to more conversations.

          • http://www.cpyu.org/ Walt Mueller

            Kolby. . .I read Carr’s book as being more realistic than critical. I’m always trying to figure out what motivates a writer as well as the worldview (basic presuppositions they make) that they’re coming from. I think Carr hits on some very important things that most of us don’t even think about. He engages with theory whereas Tapscott is experience heavy without much of a moral compass. Check on that post I did last August about my trip to the college library. It was scary as I felt like Carr’s notions were being laid out before my very eyes!

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I was surprised to read that teens who text may have better reading, writing, and spelling skills. The last 3 stats hit me hardest. 

  • chris

    I’m wondering if we shouldn’t approach this information two ways. First, use this information for our outreach purposes. Event contacting, invites, etc. But second, I wonder if it shouldn’t challenge our discipleship methods to teach and train students about the social habits they need for spiritual growth (i.e., the community, generational relationships with older and younger believers, etc.).

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