A New Millennial Holiday Tradition: Providing Tech Care for Family

Families have holiday traditions. Dad always carves the turkey, and you can count on Aunt Susan to bring the dressing.

Millennials, meanwhile, find themselves tackling a new holiday trend: Taking care of everyone else’s tech needs.   

AT&T’s new research* shows that adults ages 30-38 play a big role looking out for other’s digital demands – from keeping their children safe online to helping mom and dad set up a new smartphone.

  • Three quarters of older millennials say they provide “tech caregiving” to others
  • More than half are providing support to parents
  • 78% of those who have children are supporting young people

Older millennials are now a tech “sandwich generation.” So, while others at the holiday feast will be passing the pecan pie, older millennials will be setting up passwords and monitoring family media use.

And the situation is putting a squeeze on members of this tech-savvy generation:

  • While more than 70% say they are happy or relieved to help their loved ones…
  • …34% say they, too, need help managing technology
  • Meanwhile, nearly half of those helping older adults say they’re concerned, overwhelmed, or embarrassed not to have answers to their loved ones’ questions

Older millennials grew up on the Internet, so it may seem they are better positioned than other generations to solve tech problems. A Pew Research Center study found “younger adults generally score higher than older adults across digital knowledge questions.”

Still, millennials sometimes fail to follow best practices.

Nearly 60% say they use the same password for multiple accounts; nearly 40% don’t monitor their bank and credit card accounts for suspicious charges or transfers; and about half say they answer phone calls without recognizing the incoming number.

“It’s no wonder older millennials feel pressure to have answers. They are spending a growing amount of their lives online, and so are their children and their parents,” said Neil Giacobbi, assistant vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility at AT&T.

Older millennials – and anyone, for that matter - can test their cyber smarts this Holiday Season and learn how well their accounts, devices and information are protected online with AT&T’s Cyber Aware Quiz.

AT&T Cyber Aware also is a central location for resources and insights to help people of all ages learn how to be safer online.

Content includes topics such as:

*Quadrant Strategies, on behalf of AT&T, completed a survey of 1,502 respondents segmented by generation (499 Older Millennials, 501 Generation X, 250 Boomers, 252 Silent Generation) from Aug. 21, 2019 through Aug. 30, 2019.