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Posted on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

U-M researchers: Generation X interacts in person and on Facebook equally

By Kellie Woodhouse

Is the online world of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram eclipsing the face-to-face conversation?

Thumbnail image for 1203 ov teens looking over computers.jpg

File photo

It appears that among individuals in their late 30s, both types of socializing get equal play.

For now.

According to University of Michigan researchers, those Generation X adults report engaging in 75 in-person and 74 electronic conversations each month.

In the course of a typical month, participants reported sending 39 nonwork emails, using Facebook nearly 23 times, using Twitter four times, Skyping once, and sending digital pictures seven times.

"Given the speed of emerging technologies, it is likely that electronic contacts will continue to grow in the years ahead, eventually exceeding face-to-face interactions," U-M researcher Jon D. Miller said in a release.

The study interviewed 3,027 participants in 2011.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

This is a finding from the Longitudinal Study of American Youth, which is a long-term study of Generation X. The specific report where this finding was announced is here:

Kellie Woodhouse

Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 5:48 p.m.

Thanks for the link!


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

Do you think this trend will continue once they move out of mom's basement?

music to my ear

Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

Most have their own rooms at mom and dads

Kellie Woodhouse

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

I don't think many Generation X folks are living in their mom's basement.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:25 a.m.

Why is this important for us to know? I'm left with "so what?" after reading this article. What is the significance of just reporting on one generation? Why not study other generations, too? Or, at least tell us why Gen X is so important for this study. Or, maybe post a link to the study? Or, maybe just not include this as news for a general audience.

Kellie Woodhouse

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

I get a lot of press releases from the university and most of them don't make it onto But when I saw this I was really surprised by the results of the study. I expect this kind of result with millennials and Generation Y, but didn't necessarily think there was such a high level of social media interaction among Generation X.

music to my ear

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:37 a.m.

my phone broke today,there was no light in her, I just pleading with her "please come back I need you ", I swear she just lit up .I thought that was so tweet.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:06 a.m.

Borg report 01-31-2013 Galaxy: Milky Way Star: Sol Planet: Earth. Species: Human Remote Assimilation: 49.8844295 % complete. Wait just a nanosecond... Quick Borg hide ! We have been exposed An A2com reporter intruder has found us out. Borg return to the mother ship at once. Run for your lives!!!


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

The question I have is, compared to the pre-email, pre-Twitter, pre-Facebook era, are the total number of social interactions now in this age group about the same as they were in the past, or have the number of interactions increased (perhaps because of the electronic options) or decreased (for whatever reason)?