WINNIPEG — It may look like millennials constantly have their nose in their phones and choose technology over conversation, but many say it’s because they’re expected to be connected.
It’s not uncommon to find the generation with their heads down and their phones planted firmly in their hands as they walk in the mall, on the street or sitting at a restaurant.
However, some millennials say there is reason they are glued to technology.
Raegan Hedley is a millennial living in Winnipeg. She said the reason many millennials have their phone glued to their hand isn’t so much a form of being disconnected as it is a way to stay connected, and even employed for some.
“The perception is that we always have our phone in our hand, millennials I mean…head down a lot of the time because they don’t want to connect with people around them – but I actually don’t think that’s the case. We’re always trying to keep up and be connected,” Hedley said.
For Hedley and many millennials like herself, being connected isn’t just something you see, but it’s something that is often expected of them. Hedley said for herself, many of her her clients expect her to be connected 24/7 because of the way technology works now.
Darren Mak is a technology expert and said there’s a fine line between being too connected and the right amount of connected.
While he may have just missed the boat on what is considered a millennial, he said he’s a self-proclaimed one because of his connectivity and his career.
Mak said technology has a place in society, but it is also far too prevalent in the world to be disconnected for too long.
“Being self employed, being able to connect from anywhere allows me to take family vacations that I never would have been able to do before just because of the way my business is done,” Make said.
WATCH: Technology expert Darren Mak talks about the changing landscape of tech in the workplace and day-to-day life
He said that spending 15 to 20 minutes a day being connected on his devices even while on a vacation means going back to work will be that much easier.
Staying connected is what keeps many millennials employed. Hedley said that every aspect of the industry she’s in revolves around her phone.
“Inherently being connected to eight Twitter accounts, Instagram accounts you’re getting notifications constantly. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to navigate that with your work life and your personal life,” Hedley said.
While it may seem like she has her phone in her hand all the time, she does disconnect entirely. However, it can’t last too long as she feels there’s an expectation to respond because of the technological era we live in.
Tech expert, Mak, also said that there are places where it is of course unnecessary to be on the phone.
Mak said a coffee shop with friends, in a group setting, out for a nice dinner; those are all moments where the phone isn’t necessary and it’s healthy to use the time to disconnect.
Technology will inevitably continue to change in the life of a millennial and the life of anyone choosing to use it.