The Safety Zone Generation

Playing It Safe: Gen Ys and the Caution Effect

The statement that Gen Ys grew up coddled and protected has been used so much by generational experts that it almost feels cliché saying it. But the less-discussed flip side to this over-protection incubation is that Millennials were raised in an environment of high anxiety that taught them from a very early age that there is always something around the corner that could hurt you or go wrong. After all, there was a reason that you couldn’t walk down the street to school by yourself; stranger danger was everywhere. They could very well be called Generation Amber Alert. Add to this early-age hyper-awareness of personal danger the fact that the media they have been surrounded by has essentially been a non-stop loop of terror and highly dramatized fear-mongering-for-ratings and it is understandable that Millennials tend to be an anxious bunch.

Then, when this group of high-risk guarded youth were just starting out on their own, the recession hit and they watched friends and family who had bet big on houses, stocks, and high-stakes careers lose everything. Put all together, you have the perfect equation for a generation with a healthy fear of risk taking. Today, this risk-averse mentality affects how they are living their lives in a major way, from delaying major life decisions to approaching their futures with extreme caution.

Never a generation of rebels (why break the rules when you’re friends with your parents and could break any law you wanted in video games), Millennials today are moving forward in their lives with extreme caution. This general fear of taking big leaps could help explain the fairly drastically delayed ages at which Millennials are choosing to get married and have children when compared to other generations. In some…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

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

Liam Matthews, a teenager from New Zealand, has grown his Instagram following from under 150,000 to over 1.5 million in the course of a year by combining celebrity glamour shots with DIY cross-dressing. His profile documents his attempts to mimic the looks of young female celebrities using fabric scraps, an array of wigs, and strategically placed ramen noodles. Sticking to side-by-side comparison images and a focus on the most popular young celebrities, Matthews has struck a format that makes imitation the sincerest form of humor. (Uproxx)

Every brand seem to want their own hashtag catchphrase, but authenticity and sheer common sense are being compromised by some in pursuit of the viral tag. Over the course of 12 hours, one writer noticed 39 distinct hashtags, including #unseenacne for Neutrogena which was deemed “#FreakingGross” by one Twitter user and a #sorrynotsorry copycat from Equinox coined #preapologize. While the latter has seen 1.2 million impressions (many from the company and its employees), some have been so confused by the wording that they had to ask Equinox directly what it was supposed to mean. (WSJ)

Good thing OKCupid users aren’t raising much alarm over recent experiments conducted on them, because the company is unapologetic. The three experiments that faked matchmaking results and manipulated conversations were detailed in full on OKCupid’s trends blog under the title "We Experiment on Human Beings!" Internet skeptical Millennials are used to their data being used behind-the-scenes, and may not have as much issue with OKCupid as other tests made public (like those from Facebook) because “experimentation in dating is part of the process” to improve matches. (NYT

Transparency communication is the new buzzword at Johnson & Johnson who has started a movement to win over Millennial moms. The first ad in the planned 40-plus series announces that they will remove controversial ingredients from their products and reminds viewers that J&J employees are parents themselves, having them write 1,000 promises to reflect the company's dedication to change. Future video series will serve to debunk myths, educate new parents, and connect them through social media forums. (AdAge)

A Disney princess clothing collection from BlackMilk, featuring Snow White bomber jackets, mermaid leggings, and Hakuna Matata skater skirts, is selling out. Mind you, this collection is made for adult females. We took a look at what happens when the princesses grow up, and discovered that Millennials are eager to co-opt Disney imagery and update it to fit with their current lifestyles. Though some don't appreciate their favorite animations being slapped onto skintight clothing, the bold and graphic prints clearly appeal to some and would probably make for some unique rave gear. (Jezebel)

Quote of the Day: “In the future, I'd like to pay off my student loans and not starve or get evicted. A stable job would be nice.” –Male, 26, PA

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