Fears are wreaking havoc on millennials' lives according to new research

26 June 2018        

Category: Fundraising

Millennials (aged 16-34) are more fearful of having no Wi-Fi (24%) than they are of snakes (16%), according to a new survey which reveals the 21st century fears that are taking over young people’s lives.

Young people holding their mobile phones

As part of our Face a Fear campaign, we have revealed that around a third of millennials (31%) are scared of their phone running out of battery, while a quarter (24%) are afraid of having no Wi-Fi. In comparison, just 1 in 17 people over 55 (6%) fear having no Wi-Fi and only 1 in 13 of the older generation worry about their phone battery dying (8%).Even more concerning is that these modern fears are creeping in to young people’s social lives, with a fifth (20%) of millennials saying they are afraid of social situations – nearly three times as much as the over 55s (7%). Over a quarter admit they have avoided meeting people out of fear (29%).

However, nothing trumps the spider, with almost 2 in 5 millennials (37%) admitting to suffering from arachnophobia – almost twice the proportion of the over 55s (19%).

The figures also show that this mix of fears can often have a detrimental impact on millennial’s relationships and wellbeing. Just under a quarter of millennials admitted to losing friends due to their fears (24%) and a fifth said it has destroyed relationships (20%). Even more surprising is that Netflix binges are at risk, with over a fifth of millennials confessing to avoiding watching a film or documentary featuring their fear (21%).

More than 7 in 10 millennials said they have at least one traditional or modern fear (71%), which is more than double that of the over 55 year olds (30%).

But with over four fifths (84%) of young people with fears admitting that they want to overcome them, the BHF is urging people to tackle their fears this July by signing up to Face a Fear and raising money for vital heart research.

Top 10 millennial modern and traditional fears:

  1. Spiders (37%)
  2. Phone running out of battery (31%)
  3. Fear of sending a text to the wrong person (26%)
    • Missing a flight (24%)
    • Having no Wi-Fi (24%)
    • Heights (24%)
  1. Bees/wasps (23%)
  2. Missing a train (22%)
    • Deep water (20%)
    • Social situations (20%)
  1. Having my photo taken from a bad angle (19%)

Elena Touroni, Clinic Director at The Chelsea Psychology Clinic, said:

“Fears and phobias are clearly having an impact on the younger generation – they are scared of more things and they are getting the better of them in their day-to-day lives. But whatever your age, the British Heart Foundation’s Face a Fear challenge is a great first step in tackling your biggest fears and is an ideal challenge if you want to step out of your comfort zone this summer.”

Adrian Adams, Head of Face a Fear at the British Heart Foundation, added:

“With millennials being the most scared generation, losing friends, saying no to social situations and even having their relationships destroyed, it’s time the nation’s young people looked fear in eye and said – no more. We are encouraging people to take a small step, or giant leap, in conquering their fears. Whatever the nail-biting experience is, by signing up to Face a Fear, you will be helping the BHF to beat heartbreak forever. Each year, over 150,000 lives are cut short by heart and circulatory disease – that’s one death every three minutes, so we urgently need your support to keep more hearts beating.”

By taking part in Face a Fear and conquering your phobia by the end of July, you will help power ground-breaking research to bring new hope to the seven million people living with heart and circulatory disease in the UK.