How millennials are using technology to track their lives

Eight out of ten millennials are using technology to track at least one aspect of their lives, a study has found.

The incredible extent to which the younger generation are relying on gadgets to set personal goals, measure success and stay motivated was revealed after researchers polled 1,664 adults between the ages of 18 and 34 across Great Britain.

According to the new data, millennials are using tracking technology across a variety of areas from fitness, health and diet, to sleep, language learning, money and even mindfulness.

But in terms of prevalence, technology is most commonly used to track their fitness (39 per cent), weight (27 per cent) and health (23 per cent).

The study also found that female millennials are slightly more motivated by tracking technology than their male peers (79 per cent vs. 74 per cent).

Fflur Lawton, Head of Policy and Communications at Smart Energy GB, the organisation that published the research, said:

“Millennials are already using tracking technology across a variety of different areas, so being able to track gas and electricity at home with the introduction of smart meters could bring about a real change to the way Britain’s tech-savvy generation interacts with energy. Three quarters of millennials say tracking their energy with a smart meter could help them take steps to reduce energy waste.

“We know that keeping track matters to young people when it comes to making positive changes in their lives, and with lots of young people renting their homes, it’s important to know that smart meters are available to everyone at no extra cost – regardless of whether you rent or own your home. If you’re responsible for the bills, you can just get in touch with your energy supplier to arrange your upgrade.”

The study also found tracking technology is the second biggest motivator for millennials when they’re seeking to make positive changes across different areas of their lives.

More than three quarters (77 per cent) said they were motivated by using technology to track their progress and set goals.

Only the encouragement they receive from family or friends ranked more highly.

For those millennials who are motivated by tracking technology, the number one appeal of tracking tech is that it enables them to set personal goals (68 per cent). Being able to measure success (65 per cent) and view a concrete record of progress (61 per cent) were the other top perks.

More than half (59 per cent) of millennials motivated by tracking tech say that having easy access to information on a screen is a key factor in staying motivated towards making positive changes.

For the first time, it is possible to accurately track household energy use with smart meters – a significant transformation for around 11 million millennials in Great Britain who say they are motivated by using tracking technology when seeking to make positive changes.

Three quarters of millennials (74 per cent) say tracking energy use with a smart meter could help them take steps to reduce energy waste. That’s more than 10.5 million young people who think tracking technology such as smart meters could have a genuine impact on their lifestyle.

Smart meters are a new tool available to everyone in Britain at no extra cost, and you can get one from your energy supplier, even if you rent your home. Smart meters let you track your energy use in pounds and pence as you go along, with all the information you need on a handy display – just like glancing at your heart rate on a fitness tracker or the step count on your phone.

There are already more than 8.6 million smart meters installed in homes and microbusinesses across Great Britain.

The South West, East Midlands and East of England are the regions where young people are most likely to feel motivated by tracking technology.

Millennials in London and Scotland are the most likely to think smart meters could help them try to reduce energy waste (both 80 per cent vs. national average of 74 per cent).

In the majority of regions, millennials who are motivated by tracking tech see the number one appeal as being able to set personal goals. But those in London, the East of England and Yorkshire & Humberside find being able to measure success the most motivating factor.

To coincide with the study fitness blogger Zanna van Dijk has taken on a two-week challenge to ‘get energy fit’ by tracking her energy use with a smart meter.

Zanna van Dijk said: “I’m super passionate about living sustainably, so reducing energy waste is a top priority when it comes to performing at my best. This whole challenge has been a learning curve for me. I didn’t even know smart meters existed, let alone that they were free and available to everyone, even if you rent your home. If you look after the bills you can just get in touch with your supplier – it’s amazing.

“I’m so grateful I got to take this challenge as it has inspired me to make lasting sustainable swaps to my lifestyle.

‘’When you’re confronted with your energy use on a little screen, it’s hard to avoid making changes – it’s the ultimate motivation.”