Millennial Mashup Speaker Q&A: Randi Zuckerberg

Ypulse is calling our Mashup event Millennials Reassessed* for many reasons. It’s time that we stop thinking about a generation that is 80 million individuals large as one general group that can be painted with the same stereotypes and characteristics, so we have segmented the Millennial population and are digging deeper into who they are. Millennials are aging up, so we are examining how they are tackling, redefining, and lifehacking adult milestones. And we are looking at how Millennials have been shaped and helped shape the events of the last 30 years, so we’re thrilled to be closing our event with a keynote from Randi Zuckerberg. Today, Randi gives us her views on her own generation as a Millennial who has been involved in some of the biggest movements and shifts they have experienced. She tells us how they might value unplugging more than anyone else, their views on The American Dream, and why Facebook and the iPhone have shaped them into who they are today. 

 
* Register for the Ypulse Mashup: Millennials Reassessed here
 

 Ypulse: What would you say is the biggest misconception when it comes to the Millennial generation?

Randi Zuckerberg: That they don’t value their relationships. So much has been written about how Millennials are solely focused on tech, but the reality is that technology provides them with even more ways to keep in touch and share with those they love. Millennials might even appreciate more deeply the value of unplugging and digital detox, since they have grown up with technology.

YP: This year at the Mashup we’re reassessing Millennials. What would you say is the thing about the generation that needs to be reassessed the most?

RZ: That Millenials are concerned about what this constant connectivity is doing to their lives, and aren’t going to…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream' I think…A loaded term that is meaningless these days. At this point, I'd be happy if I can manage to live a mostly comfortable, independent life. Is that The American Dream? I don't know.” –Male, 25, PA

When it comes to kids using tablets and smartphones, most of the attention is given to the dangers of it all: what will it do to their attention spans, their minds, or their health? But there are potential positives to their mobile use as well. One (Millennial) mom’s reasons for continuing to give her kids handheld devices include the importance of encouraging their technology and problem solving skills, expectations that they will know how to use them in school, and a hope that her girls will be involved in tech in their futures. (Hip Mombrarian)

This might be the year that vending machines became a full blown marketing trend, and Nike has put their own athletic spin on the tactic. Their recent “secret” vending machine in NYC, the Nike+ FuelBox, dispensed products like hats, shirts, and socks that visitors could only pay for with daily points from their Nike+ FuelBands, encouraging exercise in exchange for goods. (Engadget)

We’ve seen FoMo, the rise and fall of YOLO, and now social media has given us MoMo, the “Mystery of Missing Out.” Unlike FoMo, Fear of Missing Out when you see your friends posting a ton of fun pictures on social media, MoMo is the anxiety that results when friends stop posting. In the words of one Millennial, “’what can be so good that they aren't posting?’” It might seem silly to some, but for a generation used to being connected with friends nearly all the time, the feeling of exclusion that results from being left out and unaware of what’s happening is real. (Jezebel)

The value of higher education is already being questioned by Millennials, and evidence is continuing to mount that college systems and hierarchies need to be rethought. One former Yale professor is making headlines by telling parents not to send their kids to Ivy League schools, and that those who attend are not the “winners in the race we have made of childhood” but that instead elite education produces “anxious, timid, and lost” young people. (New Republic)

Oh, Barbie. She's had a rough year, and Mattel recently released an Entrepreneur Barbie in an attempt to tap into girl power marketing, and revive flagging sales. But is the reality that Barbie is just too perfect for today’s kids? The brand’s offbeat, weirdo Monster High dolls do far better than pristine, “clean cut” blond icon. Tapping into new trends in toy tech and giving Barbie a renewed sense of “imaginative play” might help, but at the same time post-Millennials, like the generation before them, could be turned off by anything that doesn’t show some flaws. (The StarPhoenix)

Quote of the Day: “When I hear the phrase ‘The American Dream’ I think of 1950s cliches, the economic downturn of 2008, and how college debt has pretty much made it impossible.” –Female, 17, RI

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