Emerging adults and the news

New research suggests young US adults spend almost all their waking hours interacting with media.

It’s ten years since Jeffrey Jensen Arnett published the first edition of Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties.  Oxford University Press is celebrating the anniversary with a new and updated edition.   The revision considers how – and how much - emerging adults are interacting with social media.

Key findings (US)

  • Most of the emerging adult’s day is spent interacting with some kind of media – an astonishing 12 hours per day is spent
  • About 3.5 hours of this is spent listening to music
  • 3.5 hours internet use per day
  • 1 hours of this is spent on social media
  • They are watching much less TV than older adults

Multiple paths to news

According to research by the Media Insight Project, many millennials don’t believe they should have to pay for news.  The research paints a complex picture of how younger people are accessing news and the increasing importance of social media in keeping them connected – not just to friends, but to the world.

Facebook leads the way for news

  • 47% go to Facebook specifically for news
  • 88% get news from Facebook at least occasionally
  • For those who use Facebook for news, 57% are doing so at least once a day – and 44% are using it multiple times per day
  • Other social platforms used for news include: YouTube (83% use it at least occasionally for news); Instagram (50%); Twitter (33%); Tumblr (21%)
  • Only 13% of millennials use Twitter for news every day

Multiple paths to news

  • For 'hard news' they search beyond social media, often through aggregators such as Google News
  • Social media is used for ‘lifestyle topics’
  • Keeping up with the news is important
  • Up to 53% of participants were using at least one paid for news or magazine subscription in the last year
  • They are also still using print subscriptions

Sources: Oxford University Press; Niemen Lab.