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Kavitha & Bhuvaneswari, Apeejay-Journal of Management Sciences and Technology, 4 (1), October - 2016

ISSN -2347-5005


Impact of Social Media on Millennials – A

Conceptual Study
Dr. S Kavitha R Bhuvaneswari
Associate Professor, Department of Mgmt. Research Assistant, ICSSR Project
P.S.G.R. Krishnammal College for Women, Coimbatore, P.S.G.R. Krishnammal College for Women, Coimbatore,
India India

Abstract: In present days, Social media has become a vital part of modern society. Social media are web-
based services that allow users to connect and interact with friends, contacts, and strangers. Social network
sites include Facebook and Twitter, Instagram, Media-sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr, blogs, and
other web-based communication forums. The term ‘Millennials’ refers to persons born between 1980 and
2000. They are also called as Generation Y and Digital Natives with the highest internet use since the last few
decades. The Internet’s instantaneous information, the broad reach of media influence the superior usage of
Social media by Gen Y. This study attempts to explain the impact of social media on millennials.

Key words: Social Media Network, Personality Development, Generation Y, Millennials

Social media has become an emerging and popular trend today. It is the utmost suitable way of
communication among the Millennial in the present day [1]. According to Boyd and Ellison [2],
Social Network Sites (SNSs) are progressively attracting the attention of academic and industry
research due to their affordance and reach. Therefore, it is considered as one of the top effective
learning device which improves communication skills and knowledge. Furthermore, Kaur and Kaur [3]
explained that Social networking sites are found to act as a major social influence which impacts the
personal life of the users. The emergence and popularity of social media have made it easy for an
individual to communicate in real time with the huge number of strangers as with a single close friend.
So one can widen their circle of online friends to any extent with the use of social media.

A. Social Media: Social Media is defined by Wikipedia as, “computer intermediated tools that allow
people or companies to create, share, or exchange information, career interests, ideas, and
pictures/videos in virtual groups and networks.” Social media depend on mobile and web-based
technologies to create highly interactive podiums through which individuals and groups share, co-
create, discuss, and modify user-generated content. It brings together extensive and universal changes
in communication between organizations, communities, and individuals. The improved use of the

Kavitha & Bhuvaneswari, Apeejay-Journal of Management Sciences and Technology, 4 (1), October - 2016
ISSN -2347-5005

Internet as a new tool for communication has changed the way people interact. This new
communication style happens to the usage of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,
YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, Reddit etc [4].

B. Generation Y: Millennials also referred as Generation Y or the Net Generation is the demographic
cohort that directly follows Generation X (born between mid 1960’s and early 1980’s). Generation Y
covers people born between 1980 and 2000 and these individuals are sometimes known to as Gen Y
or the Millennial Generation. Simply saying, the people within the age group of 18-34 years. This
population has grown up with a majority of the technological advances such as computers and internet.
This generation is often associated with technology and Social media.

Figure 1: Social media activities at different platforms by different age groups

Source: [5]

The above chart shows that the result of the study was organized by Harris Poll, the United States
from June 27 – July 1, 2014. This Survey has taken among 2083 adults ages 18 and older, among
which 507 were Millennials ages 18-34. This study clearly indicates that the major usage of social
media by Millennials i.e. 60% of the entire social media usage.
Millennials throughout the country frequently use the Internet and Cell phones to collect data and
information and communicate with each other. This facility to communicate with others is the
distinctive feature of social media which provides great methods for millennials to create and direct
their social environments. Millennials’ use of social media occurs concurrently to their developing
identity, physical development, emerging sexuality and moral consciousness.
Today, millennials grow up having great contacts with different kinds of social media. They are easily
acquired ― digital literacy and survive in a digital domain to which grown person are only
naturalized citizens. New technologies help to provide flexibility in collaborative learning, stimulate
creative ideas, and increase interpersonal relationships of the millennials. This new approach to
consuming and creating information is, in particular engaging with youths as a platform and space for

Kavitha & Bhuvaneswari, Apeejay-Journal of Management Sciences and Technology, 4 (1), October - 2016
ISSN -2347-5005

activities not possible in the eye to eye context. This has generated speculation on their use and
related positive and negative effects, in both the short and long terms.


This conceptual study aims at achieving the following objectives:

 To identify the Pros and Cons of using Social media among the Millennials
 To analyse the Impact of Social media on Millennials
And this study is based on Secondary data collected from various journals, articles, blogs,
publications and other websites.


Social media has become one of the best mediums for transfer of information and knowledge in the
world. It is usually the millennials that use social media than any other demographic. Young people
especially use the medium to stay in connecting with their childhood friends and also to get new
friends. Like any other technological invention, social media has its own part of advantages and
disadvantages. They are,

Learning and Interactivity

Social media offer adequate opportunities for learning and interactivity and the teens use such tools in
the classroom, they cover the educational background. According to Francisco Brannan [6], Social
media can assist students to easily contact each other with respect to projects and assignments.
Teachers have many options to share useful links and this benefit the student. And also it can be
benefited by Students, teachers, and parents on the same page with the help of social media. Sites like
Facebook help teachers to stay in contact with parents and let them know about the development of
their children.


Social media networks are intended for the purpose of common and shared connections. Today’s
Millennials are accessing Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Instagram to connect and share with
those around them. One of the most exciting things about social media is that users can interrelate and
involve in each other merely through a Web occurrence, probably never even meet in person.
According to Natalie Saaris [7], the biggest advantage of social media is its power to connect persons.
It has become a widespread way for family and friends who live far away from one another
(sometimes universally) to keep up with what is going on in each other’s lives, without the expensive
cost of long-distance calling.

Kavitha & Bhuvaneswari, Apeejay-Journal of Management Sciences and Technology, 4 (1), October - 2016
ISSN -2347-5005

Web Engagement

Everyday Students use social media to interrelate with their peers and even educators about class-
related subjects. In a world where the online appointment is important to businesses, these students
are becoming experts in developing a sense of Internet existence. Not only do they know how to
interrelate with others on the internet, they know how to use basic and even complex functions in
order to do so [8].

Real-Time Information Sharing

Charlie R. Claywell [9] in his article of the Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Networking
states that many social networking sites include a prompt messaging feature, which lets people
interchange information in real-time via a chat. This is a great feature of teachers to use to facilitate
because it let them utilize the huge collection of information obtainable on the Web. This can be a
reduce time for the educator since students no longer need to visit a library to the investigation and it
can be a great way to involve distracted learners.


Social media users share among themselves all the time, giving and receiving information on rapid
speeds. They share views and opinions; ideas, thoughts, and even DIY projects. Their capability to
measure, evaluate, retain and share information is increasing rapidly and they often don’t even realize
they’re raising these skills. Only persons born before the Internet was invented are likely to
understand the magnitude of this new style of communication.


Beside with the advantages social media also has several disadvantages. They are,

Absence of Face to Face Communication

Students that use social media frequently may drop their ability to take part in person to person
communication. Even if the world is revolving around technology, students must know how to
communicate in the real world.

Social Media can be a Distraction

According to Karen Lederer [10], a common complaint about instructors is that social media is
diverting in the study room. These trainers maintain that tools like YouTube and Facebook distract
students' attention away from what's happening in class and are ultimately troublesome to the
learning method. With the possibility that the use of social media tools can be a summons for
students to blunder off, instructors should make sure they won't be harmed.

Kavitha & Bhuvaneswari, Apeejay-Journal of Management Sciences and Technology, 4 (1), October - 2016
ISSN -2347-5005

Cyber Bullying

Social media websites are becoming flagrant for cyber bullying. This has become a distressing trend.
Students may write wounding messages about other students and this could scar students for life.
According to Charlie R. Claywell [9], Use of social networks may disclose persons to other forms of
nuisance or even the wrong contact. This can be especially true for teens and younger children.

Time Waster

According to a report on Forbes [11], shows that 89 percent of respondents known for wasting time
on social media while at work. The Global Web Index survey [12], discloses that 28 percent of the
time spent online is on social networks. When these visits are for non-work related activity, it can
charge companies money through lost productivity.


Today Social media has a huge influence on Millennials. There are many positive aspects, but there
are equally as many hazards that come with the use of sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,
Pinterest, Google +, Tumblr, Instagram, gaming sites, blogs etc. The following are the Positive and
Negative Impact of Social media on Personality development among the Millennials.

A. Positive Impact of Social Media on Millennials

 Social Media provides the millennials a chance to train their social skills. It also affords them
the chance to enlarge their social circle and develop new friendships. According to Nola
Mokeyane [13], the benefits of Social media also include social confidence, heightened
literacy in the media, and more social support. It implies that there is a massive effect on
Social Skills Development among the millennials.
 According to Francisco Brannan [6], when social media is used in teaching, students who
have difficulty in expressing their views in their classrooms can get involved in the learning
process. It will help form these youth’s Confidence level as well.
 Most of the millennials live a comfortable life. But with disclosure to various media outlets,
they can develop awareness about society and the world. With news channels, magazines,
social networking sites booming about world happenings, youths can realize that there is
further to the world than just what is happening in the ‘hood. It turns to improve their
Cultural and Political Awareness.
 Social Media also helps to promote Creativity and Innovation among the millennials.
 According to Chhandita Chakravarty [14], there are a few video games that can help youths
develop and fine-tune their Motor skills and Coordination.

Kavitha & Bhuvaneswari, Apeejay-Journal of Management Sciences and Technology, 4 (1), October - 2016
ISSN -2347-5005

 Social media influences the millennials to improve their Reading and Writing Skills by
usage of various blogs, chat rooms and other social network sites.

B. Negative Impact of Social Media on Millennials

 According to Nola Mokeyane [13], the Social media has a gradually negative impact on the
way Millennials measures their individual Image and Beauty Standards. The sizes of
supermodels and actresses often influence teenage girls who are keenly looking forward to
finding a personality to trust they have to be thin to show beauty.
 At a developmental stage when youth seeks greater freedom and independence, the adoration
of drugs, alcohol, risky sexual and violent behaviours in the media make it challenging for
millennials to make responsible behavioural choices [15]. This Glorifying Negative
Behaviour is one of the main negative impact of social media on millennials.
 Sultan Alzahrani and Christian Bach [16] in their study found that increasing use of social
media also leads to Depression, Anxiety, and Stress in adolescents.

Social media has become universal, impacting the personality and behaviour of millennials so much.
The real challenge lies in overcoming the drawbacks and confirming that the advantages create the
desired impact. This study attempts to explain the pros and cons in Social media and the positive and
negative impact of Social media on Personality development of the millennials that can be used as a
foundation for more in-depth research. Finally it is concluded that Social media is having a major
impact on the personality development of millennials. Overcoming the negative impact on Social
media, it should be using the medium in a constructive way by the millennials.


[1] Kumudha A and Thilaga S. (2016). A Study on the impact of Social Media on Millennial Consumers’
Decision Making Process, International Journal of Informative & Futuristic Research. 3(8), pp.2910-
[2] Danah M. Boyd and Nicole B. Ellison (2008). Social Networking Sites: Definition, History and
Scholarship, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. 13, pp. 210-230.
[3] Jasveen Kaur and Jaspreet Kaur (2015). Analyzing Social Networking Sites’ (SNSs) User Value: A
Study among “Generation y” Cohort, Apeejay Journal of Management and Technology. 10(1), pp. 41-
[4] Kavitha S. (2015). Usage of Social Media in Workplace A Conceptual Study, Apeejay-Journal of
Management Sciences and Technology. 3(1), pp. 116-124.

Kavitha & Bhuvaneswari, Apeejay-Journal of Management Sciences and Technology, 4 (1), October - 2016
ISSN -2347-5005

[15] Shabnoor Siddiqui and Tajinder Singh (2016). Social Media its Impact with Positive and Negative
Aspect, International Journal of Computer Applications Technology and Research. 5(2), pp. 71 – 75.
[16] Sultan Alzahrani and Christian Bach (2014). Impact of Social Media on Personality Development,
International Journal of Innovation and Scientific Research. 3(2), pp.111-116.