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: “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

We know Millennials have delayed going down the aisle, but how do they really compare to the generations before them? Over 30% of Millennial women will have stayed unmarried by age 40, “nearly twice the share of their Gen X counterparts.” Even if the marriage rate returns to pre-recession levels, Millennials will not catch up to Gen X marriage rates. The dip in married couples could have economic repercussions, as they are “often better off financially.” (CNNMoney)

25-34-year-olds (mostly older Millennials) are the most likely travelers to use mobile search and social media “to resolve a travel problem,” with close to 40% relying on a mobile solution to their issues and quandaries. Travel info startup Skift is calling this group the “silent traveler,” and the increasing number of travelling Millennials will likely make the number of silent travelers grow as well. In response, the industry is shifting efforts to mobile: 20% of Delta’s check-ins now come through their app. (MediaPost)

A recent survey covering Millennials’ political and economic views has some pointing fingers and saying the generation’s political views are “incoherent,” and “confused.” But others say they aren’t any more confused about economics than anyone else, and contradictory political opinions are not abnormal. One important takeaway that is often overlook is that a generation of over 97 million in the U.S. cannot all be painted with one brush, and that some of the contradictions in beliefs are likely due to various segments' contrasting views. (NYTimes)

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a workplace trend that some IT departments may find frustrating, and not surprisingly it’s younger employees who are the biggest BYOD culprits. 70% of 18-33-year-olds admit that they break corporate rules and use outside apps (think Dropbox and Evernote) at work. Of those, 50% said they do it because approved apps aren’t good enough, and 60% said they didn’t think it was a security problem for their company. (Recode)

The app French Girls has been around for some time, but it is continuing to gain momentum—or at least to entertain the internet. (Yes, it is named after Titanic’s classic “Draw me like one of your French girls” line.) Users can submit selfies to the French Girl community and receive back digitally drawn versions of their likeness, often creatively interpreted. (Uproxx)

Quote of the Day: “If a photo of me went viral, I would feel angry but…maybe I would be a little excited because it went viral, as long as the picture is not bad.” –Female, 16, TN

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