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: “If I played the lottery tomorrow and won $100,000,000 I would pay off my college loans and buy myself a good car, pay off my mother's debt and then save the rest for anything that might happen in the future.” –Female, 18, AL

This weekend, climate marches around the world attracted young consumers who are speaking up about their environmental concerns, and have no hesitation in calling out political leaders who aren’t willing to do the same. In New York, the thousands who gathered for the People’s Climate March demanding action on climate change included over 300 colleges represented by marching delegates. With statistics showing that by 2015 the youth vote will surpass Baby Boomers', Millennial concerns like these will increasingly shape the political conversation. (MSNBC)

We know that Millennials are marrying later in life than previous generations, but a new study from the journal Emerging Adulthood has shed some more light on the emotional reasons that might be. The research takes a deeper look into college students’ views on the institution, dividing 571 students at a public university in the Midwest into three different categories: “enthusiasts,” “hesitants,” and “delayers.” A full 58% fell into the “hesitants” category, a group that ”appeared to value marriage and expect to marry but were more hesitant about the permanence of marriage and expect to marry later than what they thought would be ideal.” (NYMag)

The generation labeled as “boomerang kids” is beginning to leave the nest. According to new Census Bureau data, 18-34-year-olds are gradually moving out of their parents’ homes: 31.1% live with parents in 2014, down from 31.2% in 2013, and a peak of 31.6% in 2012. However, the percentage of young adults heading their own household did not go up. So where are they going? Renting and moving in with other family members are most likely the answer, as the numbers for both categories rose slightly for the same age group. (Huffington Post)

After a successful test in Europe, Toys ‘R’ Us and Claire’s have announced a partnership that will create 100 branded Claire’s shops in European branches of the toy franchise, as well as 12 in the United States. After several attempts to strengthen the tween market of the well-known store, Toys ‘R’ Us is hoping to capitalize on the seemingly never-ending need for jewelry and accessories in the life of a tween girl to attract them. (MediaPost

They might not trust big institutions, but Millennials may have more faith in large corporations than meets the eye. A study that looked at 18-30-year-olds in 17 countries found that these consumers “look to the corporate world to solve global problems.” 82% believe that businesses are capable of doing more to help the world, and make the biggest impact addressing societal issues. They also want to work with those companies that make an effort to make change: 51% say they would personally like to get involved with making the world a better place, and 69% want brands to make it easier for them to get involved. (Fortune)

Millennial social media, spending, and media behaviors aren't easy to keep up with. So we track data in each of these areas in our bi-weekly survey of 1000 14-32-year-old Millennials nationwide to keep an eye on the trends that emerge. Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated data trend charts broken out by age and gender. We do the heavy data lifting for you, and we’re constantly adding new statistics to our database. (Ypulse)

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