Like all young people today, Hispanic adult Millennials have a reputation among older adults as being digital addicts. Boomers and Xers themselves tend toward extremes, and so they often perceive Millennials’ use of tech devices as excessive. But do young people see it that way?
The relationship between Hispanic adult Millennials and technology was one of the focuses of Tr3s’s 2012 research study, Hispanic Adult Millennials Living the Next Normal: Age of Uncertainty. One of the report’s key findings was that Hispanic adult Millennials seek balance between their digital and social lives. They understand that it’s important to step away from their devices and participate actively in the world.
Learning this lesson didn’t come easily, however. Many adult Millennials who used technology to isolate themselves socially as teens are now trying to correct that behavior and have more “IRL” (in real life) experiences. While moderation is a common goal, they are also well aware of how difficult it can be to step away from their tech devices.
This quest for balance is a core Millennial value. Compared with older generations, they are more comfortable “in the middle” in many areas. Hispanic adult Millennials are also interested in finding a happy middle ground between life and work, as well as between foods that are healthy and convenient.
When asked what is coolest to them now, three of the top ten items listed by young Hispanics were tech devices: smartphones (#1), GPS for cars (#6), and video games (#7). However, their “cool list” also revealed that interacting with others is of high importance as well. “In-person socializing” ranked second, and coffee shops (where they can hang out with others inexpensively) also made the list: Starbucks (#3), diners (#8), and Dunkin’ Donuts (#10). Video games, in addition to being seen as cool devices, are also considered key social outlets, bridging the gap between digital and real.
Hispanic adult Millennials see themselves as having “active lifestyles” – which they define as being out of the house socializing with family and friends. They participate in social media, but also have social lives. They play video games, but not all the time. And they text their friends a lot, but they also talk when it’s important. (According to the 2012 Maximo Report by Motivo Insights, bicultural young Latinos believe texting is the most efficient way to communicate, but talking is most effective.)
One illustration of their awareness of the value of balancing technology and life is the phone stacking game. While out at a restaurant or social gathering, everyone piles their phones in the middle of the table. The first person to relent and check their phone suffers consequences that were decided in advance, like paying the dinner tab. The game implicitly recognizes that technology, while tempting at all times, can be isolating and damaging when used too much. In the end, technology is something that enhances their lives — but only when used in moderation.
Source: Tr3s 2012 “Hispanic Adult Millennials Living the Next Normal: Age of Uncertainty”