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: “This year for Halloween I’m going to watch cooking theme shows like Halloween Wars.” –Female, 15, TX 

Millennials are clearly disenchanted with politics. When a recent poll asked who they blame the “political gridlock” in Washington on, 56% of 18-29-year-olds said “all of them.” These young consumers are also more likely to volunteer than to vote in the midterm elections. Interestingly, of the small percentage who say they definitely will vote, 51% said they would vote Republican, versus 47% who said they would vote Democrat. (The Atlantic)

It seems that more kids than ever have allergies these days, and for these ingredient-sensitive children, trick-or-treating can be less fun. (Imagine handing over the majority of your candy at the end of the night? No thanks.) This year, The Teal Pumpkin Project is campaigning to raise awareness about these allergies: houses displaying a teal pumpkin signal to trick-or-treaters that nonfood treats are being handed out. Since launching on Facebook earlier this month, the campaign has “reached more than 5.5 million people and been shared 55,000 times,” and over 2,000 pictures on Instagram have been tagged #TealPumpkinProject. (Inc.)

R.L. Stine’s scary Goosebumps and Fear Street series delighted and terrified tons of ‘90s kids, and the author has given these nostalgic consumers a Halloween treat. For the third year in a row, Stine has written an entirely new horror story on Twitter in a series of 15 tweets. The story, “What’s In My Sandwich,” has spread far beyond his 134,000 followers, and is being reposted around the web. (JezebelBuzzfeed)

Marketing on visual social platforms—Snapshot Marketing— has very quickly become an essential way to reach young consumers, and now it’s being put in motion: as of today, Instagram video ads are live. Disney, Activision, Banana Republic, the CW, and Lancome are the first brands to purchase these 15-second auto-display spots on the network. Disney and Activision are both featuring clips from recent entertainment, while Banana Republic has utilized Hyperlapse to create a clip animating fashion sketches. Meanwhile, Snapchat sold its first video ad to Universal this month for the movie Ouija, which went on to win at the box office thanks to teens. (Adweek)

Since launching in 2011, Hello Giggles has not only earned 12 million unique views a month and a very healthy social following, it has also become "an incubator for young talent.” The site emphasizes positivity and girl power, and has built a community of over 600 young female writers, journalists, and creatives who both submit work to the site and support it on Instagram and Twitter. Giggles serves as somewhat as a resume for these women, many of whom have not yet entered the workforce. (Fast Company)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our bi-weekly survey result data files, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (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