Creating Social Change With A Click

Teens OnlineIf you ever thought Millennials were lazy, think again! They’re globally connected, thanks to social media, and have more resources than ever to make a difference. It’s what “making a difference” actually means to these consumers that needs to be understood.

Digital natives are using technology as a tool to have their voices heard, and to inspire change. From creating online campaigns about causes they believe in to taking political action via social media, they’re shaping culture and proving their power as future leaders.

Gen Y grew up being praised and told that they could do anything. This confidence has its benefits in making them feel empowered and inspired to share their voice. Yes, they're less likely to write letters or organize in-person protests, but they’re changing the system for contemporary culture. A trend we’re seeing in teens is they’re drawing on the power of their peers online to make a larger impact.

Recently, 13-year-old McKenna Pope created a petition on Change.org, expressing her frustration that Easy-Bake oven isn’t marketed to males. She was upset about the message this sends to kids if the toy comes only in pink and purple and features only females on the packaging. In highlighting the importance of this issue, McKenna inspired 40,000 others, including celebrity chefs, to sign her petition. Ultimately, Hasbro invited her to its office and unveiled plans for a black-and-silver Easy-Bake oven, which will launch later this year. But McKenna isn’t alone. She represents a growing number of teens and twentysomethings who are using the Web, and social media in particular, as a platform for good.

Last year, three teens from New Jersey created two petitions on Change.org, asking for the Commission on Presidential Debates to select a female moderator…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I hope to be a good person that can change the world for the better. I want to be an artist and an author and a musician in my free time, and be a veterinarian as my profession.” —Female, 15, WA

Xers and Boomers may look down upon the growing subset of Millennials moving back in with mom and dad, but instead of feeling bad for themselves, these kids are making it work. A closer look at their post-grad lives is being explored in Boomerang Kids—a photojournalist series inspired by one Millennial’s experience of moving back home after draining resources as a photography assistant. The juxtaposition of reaching towards adulthood while still living in their childhood rooms paints a fuller picture of how many are living day-to-day. (Fast Company

Wendy’s may be tainting the comeback of one of their most popular items—the pretzel bun—in a #PretzelLoveSongs commercial being called out for “lazy parodying.” Those who feel nostalgic for the ‘90s hit song “To Be With You” are cringing over the Wendy’s commercial remake, and voicing their extreme distaste on Twitter. Be careful playing with Millennials’ nostalgia, because not taking it seriously could land a brand in hot water. (Uproxx)

How can we make kids exercise more? Since dragging them away from their screens is more difficult than ever, Wokamon is a new app from China that is making kids bring their devices outside and take a walk in order to feed their virtual pets. The cute aliens feed on energy, and the app’s pedometer technology measures steps, distance, and calories that add up to advance pets to new levels and unlock characters. Though targeted to kids, teens and adults can benefit from the app’s fun approach to fitness and sync it with other wearable trackers. (Springwise)

One mom’s open letter to Lands’ End asking why there have been cool science shirts designed for boys but not for girls has quickly gained momentum online with other parents this month, and pushed the brand to launch an entirely new line of science-themed tees for girls who love NASA, sharks, and the like. The brand has been accused of gender stereotyping in the past, and is addressing the posts on its Facebook page directly by rolling out new science-themed styles for girls this fall. (Huffington Post)

Digital versus unplugged is the wedding debate of late, and the line between too tech-centric and being completely disconnected is one that brides and grooms are finding difficult to straddle. Social media is increasingly being used to create wedding albums via couple-specific hashtags, but some couples are so turned off by the near constant focus on camera phones during a wedding that they are enforcing device-free ceremonies. (NYT)

Quote of the Day: "A benefit of unplugging is getting a more personal view of the world back. (Social media tends to distort your perception to bend to what others are thinking/feeling/saying/doing.)” —Female, 25, MN

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