HBO’s ‘Girls’: What The Real Girls Think

Today’s post comes to us from Camilla, a recent grad who weighed in on HBO's "Girls," a show that's caused much discussion and debate about how it depicts Millennials. Camilla, like us, has a love/hate relationship with the show because unlike many programs, it highlights the harsh realities that Gen Y faces. It doesn't represent all Millennials in its attempt to portray today's tough economy, but it shows young adults' struggles with unemployment, underemployment, and the everyday challenges they encounter, and their responses to them. Sure this is representative — or at least more than other programs — as Camilla explains, but she and her peers aren't sure it's a show they want to watch since it presents the low points of their lives.

HBO’s ‘Girls’: What The Real Girls Think

I think I’m the target audience for HBO’s “Girls.” At face value, it depicts the major life themes of my peers, who all just graduated from college, moved to the nearest metropolis (in my case, London, but close enough), and set about trying to figure out their lives — but mainly just how to pay their rent. No, most of us aren’t doing what we wish were doing, or earning much (or any) money for it. Yes, we might have “dated” someone without ever having gone on a date. And most of all, yes, we’re completely terrified about the economy — though still not as much as we’re terrified of STDs. All these themes ring true, but if I’ve gleaned anything from my friends’ reactions to “Girls,” the truth is not quite what our generation is looking for in our TV shows.

In the pilot episode, the star/writer/creator/whatever of the show, Lena Dunham, plays the protagonist, Hannah, a 24-year-old with an unpaid internship in New York, just about to be cut off financially from her college professor parents. The rest of the…

 
 
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Quote of the Day: Q: “Why haven’t you had children yet?” A: “I’m gay. So having a child is a big decision.” –Male, 22, CA

Back to school shopping is moving slower than usual this year, but that’s not the only shift that retailers need to contend with. We outlined the top five categories for spending among high school and college students this season, and tech is in the number one slot for college students and a close second for high schoolers. Increasingly, getting the latest headphones or mobile tech is just more important to young consumers than getting the latest fashions. As one teen told the Times, “It’s definitely more exciting for a lot of teenagers to have a new phone that can do lots of cool stuff than clothing.” (NYTimes)

When Millennials are shopping, more and more prefer to pay with plastic, with debit cards as their main payment of choice. A recent survey by CreditCards.com found that debit cards are preferred 3-to-1 over credit cards among consumers 18-29-years-old—a finding that makes sense considering this group’s fear of debt and cautious financial outlook. Cash is gradually being ignored in favor of debit as well. Among the same group, 51% prefer plastic over cash for purchases under $5, compared with 82% of consumers over 65 who use cash for under $5 purchases. (CNBC)

Our social media status update made it clear that the big platforms are spinning out plenty of new stand alone apps to test new features and try to attract young consumers. Now Instagram has introduced yet another. Their new Hyperlapse is an app that speeds up and stabilizes video, creating beautiful, impressive looking shorts that can be shared to Facebook or Instagram. There is already a #hyperlapse tag that users are employing to share their creations. Time will tell if the app is useful and interesting enough to stand on its own. (Fast Company)

“Everybody is trying to hack Instagram.” That’s what Like2Buy’s cofounder says, and they’re finding ways to help retailers turn social media love into real sales. Target and Nordstrom are both using Like2Buy platforms that link photos posted directly to product pages to buy if they are interested. The hope is that the integration will provide a more seamless experience between browsing Instagram and shopping, and give young consumers the “speed and convenience” that they expect in all facets of brand interactions. (Brandchannel

In the wake of the crisis in Ferguson, two Georgia teens have turned to tech to try to make a difference, and invented an app to help prevent police brutality. Five-O is “like Yelp,” and allows users to create incident reports about their interactions with officers, giving them a grade. The app also includes a “Know Your Rights” function to that users can easily look up what rights they have when dealing with the law. The two sisters behind the app had “dabbled” in code before, and are planning on releasing more apps in the future. (NYMag)

Looking for a quick Millennial stat to get you up to speed before a strategy session? Searching Ypulse is the best place to start! Silver and Gold members have access to 10,000+ articles, 20,000+ curated Millennial news items, 2 billion peer-generated opinions from our mobile, social Q&A network, and thousands of statistics on Millennials drawn from our bi-weekly national survey of the generation. You search can begin and end with us. (Ypulse)

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