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…

 
 
Ask Millennials some questions.
Log in to get started...

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I put off/dread calling people in general. Everything should be done online by this time!” –Female, 30, FL 

In a continued effort to draw back the teen consumers they’ve lost, Abercrombie & Fitch’s logo will “be dead” in U.S. stores by 2015. Globally, the Abercrombie and Hollister logos and names will still be used on designs, but will be phased out here where the brand knows it is no longer considered a status symbol. Abercrombie’s sales continue to fall, and the retailer is making efforts to appeal to a different youth mentality by removing references to “Ivy League heritage,” making the brand “totally accessible,” and toning down the club-like atmosphere in-store. (BuzzFeed)

Following heartbreaking stories of the death of toddlers forgotten by their parents in hot cars, automakers made claims that they would be working on new technology to help prevent the tragedies. But years later that technology has not been produced, so parents and teens are developing it instead. Independent entrepreneurs are working on a slew of solutions for baby on board tech that would stop hot-car deaths, including car seat sensors, smartphone apps, and low-tech solutions. Many are seeking backing on crowdfunding sites to make their products a reality. (Washington Post)

Ck one was an iconic ‘90s product, but the brand has kept up with the youth market in order to stay relevant with a new generation. The fragrance, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, relies on social media platforms, including Snapchat andTumblr, to attract Millennials and stay engaged. When creating their latest TV ad, they invited all participating talent to take behind-the-scenes pictures, selfies, and video, which were then used to “seed” the new campaign on social. The Snapchat campaign has “seen more than 1 million views in just a month and a half.” (Mediapost)

Just a few years ago, Hollywood was incredulous that YouTube was anything more than a collection of amateur vloggers, and certainly most didn’t believe that it would change the traditional entertainment world. But now, YouTube has become a “Hollywood hit factory” for teen entertainment. Smaller companies that realized the platform’s potential early have grown massively, big studios are snapping up YouTube studios to get in on the action, and programming is in the midst of  “rapid consolidation.” Our social media trend tracker shows that as of March 2014, YouTube has become the number one platform teens use, with 89% telling us they use the video site compared to 80% who say they use Facebook. (Businessweek)

Earlier this summer, a report that fewer teens were interested in getting summer jobs than ever before had older generations rolling their eyes at the slacker youth who “don’t want to work.” But new research indicates that it might not just be that lazy kids these days want to spend their summers taking selfies: It could be that teen jobs don’t pay off the way they used to. Millennials with summer jobs don’t see the future wage increase that teens in the ‘70s and ‘80s did. (Vox

Every day we deliver Millennial insights to your inbox, but every quarter, we look at some of the larger trends happening within the generation—and why they matter to brands. Our Gold subscribers have access to the Ypulse Quarterly report, an in-the-know guide to Millennials that synthesizes the major trends and stats we’ve seen over the last quarter of the year. We take a close look at the "why behind the what" and provide in-action examples and supportive data, along with implications for you to take away. (Ypulse)

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies