Middle-Aged Americans Beat Millennials in Time Spent on Social Media

Gen X spends nearly seven hours a week on social networks, a study finds, more than any other age group.
Photographer: Getty Images

Get off Facebook, Dad. No, really, you're spending, like, seven hours a week on there.

It's no exaggeration: Despite the popular belief that millennials are the generation most addicted to their phones, a recent report from Nielsen, the media information and analysis company, found that it is, in fact, Generation X that lavishes the most time on social media pages.

Asked how many hours a week they spend on these networks, 35- to 49-year-olds averaged six hours and 58 minutes. Millennials, defined by the study as those aged 18 to 34, spent 39 fewer minutes per week. (People 50 and over, boomers and above, spent just four hours a week or so e-socializing.) The study, conducted in the third quarter of last year, took into account 9,000 smartphone and 1,300 tablet users across the country. The media activity was measured passively to avoid any self-reporting bias. 

The trend extended to overall media consumption by Generation X, whose members spend almost 32 hours a week, on average, on all media, compared to about 27 hours for millennials and closer to 20 hours for respondents 50 and older. 

It's not as if technology is foreign to Gen X. But given these somewhat surprising numbers, should they really be telling their kids to get off their phones?

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