Digital Dating And The Catfish Phenomenon

HandsA Catfish “is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances” according to UrbanDictionary.com.  About two months ago, most Millennials, and certainly most adults, didn’t know what the term meant despite the release of a 2010 documentary of the same name. Now, it’s become a common catchphrase in culture, is the subject of a hit reality show on MTV, and is national news following Manti Te’o’s scandal. Millennials are redefining dating in the digital age, and unfortunately that sometimes means being misled online. We recently surveyed 989 13-34-year-olds about the concept of being Catfished and how they feel about online-only relationships.

Having a relationship that solely exists on the Web is more common among Millennials than one might think. Two in ten (22%) say they’ve been in an online relationship before, and nearly this same percentage (19%) believes that an online relationship is just as meaningful as an in-person relationship. This generation has grown up forming friendships and relationships on the Internet, so it’s no surprise that they feel close to others through a screen. One Millennial even wrote an article for us earlier this year about how the Internet enables friendships that might not otherwise be possible. Yes, online friendships and romances often lead to physical meetups, but Millennials still view this way of getting to know someone as socially acceptable. Texting, tweeting, IMing, and video chatting are normal ways for them to build or further a connection. Moreover, Millennials value being constantly connected through technology; they appreciate knowing that their friends or significant other is just a click away.

A recent article in Jezebel

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “This year for Halloween I’m going to watch cooking theme shows like Halloween Wars.” –Female, 15, TX 

Millennials are clearly disenchanted with politics. When a recent poll asked who they blame the “political gridlock” in Washington on, 56% of 18-29-year-olds said “all of them.” These young consumers are also more likely to volunteer than to vote in the midterm elections. Interestingly, of the small percentage who say they definitely will vote, 51% said they would vote Republican, versus 47% who said they would vote Democrat. (The Atlantic)

It seems that more kids than ever have allergies these days, and for these ingredient-sensitive children, trick-or-treating can be less fun. (Imagine handing over the majority of your candy at the end of the night? No thanks.) This year, The Teal Pumpkin Project is campaigning to raise awareness about these allergies: houses displaying a teal pumpkin signal to trick-or-treaters that nonfood treats are being handed out. Since launching on Facebook earlier this month, the campaign has “reached more than 5.5 million people and been shared 55,000 times,” and over 2,000 pictures on Instagram have been tagged #TealPumpkinProject. (Inc.)

R.L. Stine’s scary Goosebumps and Fear Street series delighted and terrified tons of ‘90s kids, and the author has given these nostalgic consumers a Halloween treat. For the third year in a row, Stine has written an entirely new horror story on Twitter in a series of 15 tweets. The story, “What’s In My Sandwich,” has spread far beyond his 134,000 followers, and is being reposted around the web. (JezebelBuzzfeed)

Marketing on visual social platforms—Snapshot Marketing— has very quickly become an essential way to reach young consumers, and now it’s being put in motion: as of today, Instagram video ads are live. Disney, Activision, Banana Republic, the CW, and Lancome are the first brands to purchase these 15-second auto-display spots on the network. Disney and Activision are both featuring clips from recent entertainment, while Banana Republic has utilized Hyperlapse to create a clip animating fashion sketches. Meanwhile, Snapchat sold its first video ad to Universal this month for the movie Ouija, which went on to win at the box office thanks to teens. (Adweek)

Since launching in 2011, Hello Giggles has not only earned 12 million unique views a month and a very healthy social following, it has also become "an incubator for young talent.” The site emphasizes positivity and girl power, and has built a community of over 600 young female writers, journalists, and creatives who both submit work to the site and support it on Instagram and Twitter. Giggles serves as somewhat as a resume for these women, many of whom have not yet entered the workforce. (Fast Company)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our bi-weekly survey result data files, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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