Who Shares More? Millennials versus Baby Boomers

Here’s something that bothers me about Boomers, even though I am one. I’m always hearing that Gen-Xers and Millennials are on their phones all the time. It’s rude, say the Boomers. They don’t care for it. But here’s the thing: you can be engaged, share your ideas, and be on your phone, sharing. By the way, if you’re a Millennial and you need to know how to terrify your friends, there’s this: Yes, Why Not Call Your Friends on the Telephone? After all, it’s fun to scare your friends, especially around Halloween.

Why this particular bee in this particular bonnet?

Recently, on vacation, another Boomer was complaining about the use of smart phones. “Are you working?” she’d ask me while I checked my Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. “No” I answered. “Do I need to be working to check my phone?” She went on to say that she thought it was rude. By the way, this is the same person with the outmoded ideas such as eggs being bad for your cholesterol. If you get in the Wayback Machine, that was back in 1968, when the American Heart Association singled out eggs (here’s the scientific study behind that factoid, by the way). Since about 1999, the general consensus is that consuming eggs has no noticeable effect on one’s cholesterol or chances of developing heart disease. If this person had been reading newer books and articles, and not simply relying on ancient textbooks, she might have known that. But I digress.

It’s a different kind of sharing

When I’m with younger friends, they share all kinds of things: pictures, stories, news articles. My nieces and nephews share funny memes that they just discovered on Pinterest. A picture of their cat acting goofy. Articles that they discovered that I might like. Photos of babies, memes, and Facebook pages fly back and forth between phones. They share Amazon wish lists. They’re signing up for classes using QR codes. On their phones. And they’re taking embarrassing photos, which they then use for sharing or blackmailing purposes.


Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/funkyfocus-3900817/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1875813">David</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1875813">Pixabay</a>

Who Shares More? Millennials versus Baby Boomers | Image by David from Pixabay

They’re laughing and excited

While the Boomers are sneering and saying that kind of sharing “doesn’t count,” the Millennials continue to share. Yes, it’s social media, and it’s online. Yes, sometimes there are “in jokes.” But it’s still sharing. Oh, and did I mention all the selfies? There are about a million of those. By the way, I’ve written about Boomers before. You might like: The Best Reasons Baby Boomers Must Start Using Social Media. And it’s not that Boomers don’t share. We/they share plenty of things, but they’re not online so much.

Boomers need to get over themselves

This kind of sharing is here to stay. Nobody is putting down their phones. People will continue using their devices. It’s fun and nobody’s being hurt. Well, it’s true that too much blue light at night can disturb your sleep. But seriously. Come on!

In the Millennials versus Boomers world, where do you fit?

What kind of sharing do you like? Are you with the Boomers here, or are you more like the Millennials? Let me know!


  1. In general, I have mixed thoughts about this; I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you one bit. lol

    I’m not against anyone using their smartphones however they want to. However, I do get upset when I’m meeting someone for lunch or dinner, and they spend half of their time checking out what’s going on elsewhere. I spend most of my time alone, and I don’t mind it all that much; if I’m going to be alone because someone keeps checking their phone, I might as well be home.

    Everything else is fair game. If I’m in a long line waiting to check out, I’d rather be doing something on my phone, because I’m still paying attention to what’s ahead. But if there’s an opportunity for a conversation, why not take it unless you’re uncomfortable?

    • Hi Mitch,

      No, I’m not surprised that you have mixed thoughts. And I agree with you–if someone’s spending half their time checking on what’s happening elsewhere, that’s not a good way to be engaged with you. Yes, you might as well be at home if that person isn’t really all there! Engagement is key. And there are people who simply aren’t good at engagement (or sharing) at all.

      Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Halloween!

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