My husband receives a lot of spammy phone calls. It’s likely his fault – he’s put down his cell phone number for one too many “win a free car” (… snowmobile, hotel stay) drawings – but it frustrates him to no end. Earlier this year he answered an unknown number claiming to be about a survey regarding upcoming construction on major roadways in our area. He went along with it until they began requesting information he felt was too personal to give over the phone to a stranger.

Since I’m more in-the-know than the average person about surveys, he asked me if he thought the call was legitimate. My answer: Yes! Of course they want to know your neighborhood and what routes you take to work for a road survey. It might even be an important factor in determining if you qualify for the survey. Realizing this, he was pretty ticked that he had hung up. He had a lot to say about the upcoming construction plans!

This led me to wonder: Is my (older) Millennial husband – who is happy to take an online survey but apparently leery of phone surveys – part of a generational trend?

It seems the general decline in phone survey responses has less to do with generational change and more to do with technology’s effect on society. According to Pew Research Center, decades of a decline in telephone survey response rates have brought us to the stabilization of a 9 percent response rate, down from a 36 percent response rate in 1997. Not shocking, given fewer landlines and the emergence of smartphone technology.

I also did a little digging into Millennials and phone calls. According to a Forbes article on Millennials and phone scams, research conducted by First Orion, a phone call/enterprise solutions firm, shows Millennials are much more likely to give away personal information over the phone compared to other generations. Six times more likely, in fact, to give away their credit card information (2.4 percent). The percent...