The Social Network of Self-Harm

Amidst the call-to-action for issues such as bullying, texting and driving, and substance abuse among teens lies an issue that remains hidden in social network feeds and under sweatshirt sleeves: self-harm. In a group of ten teens, at least one is self-harming, whether through eating disorders or physical injury. We know what these behaviors look like—cutting, starving, purging, criticizing—but more than one-fourth of young adults consciously avoid talking about these subjects and one in six parents of teens admit to avoiding the topic of mental illness. Though teens and parents share age-old experiences of adolescent angst, previous generations were without the constant barrage of images from the internet of physical (albeit Photoshopped) perfection, pro-ana websites, and self-injury how-to forums. The dark side of the internet promotes these activities and sets a grave stage for Millennials to escape from external pressures.
 
Millennial author Anna Caltabiano’s dystopian novel All That Is Red has gained recognition for giving a voice to self-harming teens and a glimpse at how for some “the intimate euphoria of pain can sometimes be all we have to remind us that we are alive.” The book is not meant to be autobiographical, but the adventure story integrates the topics of self-harm and isolation through the trials of its young female heroine. In writing All That Is Red, Anna set out to battle the stigma surrounding self-harm, an issue that is “always there, not just in the United States, but all over the world and we as a society still feel like it isn’t acceptable to discuss it.”

Caltabiano describes self-harm as “inflicting pain on yourself just to concentrate on this one thing you can control,” both feeding and numbing the isolation that teens feel in an increasingly fragmented…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I unplugged from Facebook and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is such a time suck. I have other online sites that I can browse to relieve stress or take a break from work without having to see what some random kid in high school is eating for breakfast.” —Female, 23, PA

Last summer we noted Motorola’s vision of tattoos as password and identity authentication in our spotlight on the future of passwords, and now the first iteration has hit the market. Motorola teamed up with VivaLnk to create temporary tattoos—circuits wrapped in adhesive—that can unlock the Motorola X phone with a simple scan. Though the wearability is impressive, lasting up to five days on skin even through exercise or being submerged in water, remember that wearable tech must be beautiful, and the copper swirled fingerprint has ended up “looking a bit like a mole.” (TechCrunch)

Reebok and…bacon? Though health and fitness might not be synonymous with salted meat, Reebok is celebrating its athletes in the 2014 Reebok Crossfit Games with a Paleo diet-friendly treat. Targeting the “tastebuds of the Crossfit community,” Reebok’s pork product is free of nitrates, preservatives, MSG, and sweeteners, and will be delivered to attendees in boxes or via a branded food truck. Audience members can follow the truck on social media with the hashtag #reebokbacon to catch prizes and special bacon menu items rolled out throughout the games. (Creativity OnlineFast Co. Create)

Having grown up in the age of internet piracy and file sharing, many Millennials treat music and photo copyrights as flexible, downloading and swiping various content to share on social media. But using copyrighted music in videos shared with over 6.7 million fans has caused trouble for Michelle Phan, the makeup tutorial YouTube star who is now being sued by Ultra Records. Ultra owns rights to music from a slew of EDM artists that Phan has used in her tutorials, but some artists are tweeting out in support of her and challenging copyright laws to modernize. (Adweek)

Campbell's hit a peak in popularity with the Boomer generation, but instead of reviving the soup brand for Millennials in their 20s and 30s, Campbell's is looking to create an entirely new snack line for the kids of Millennial parents. The company will expand its Bolthouse Farms brand into Bolthouse Kids and tap into the tremendous growth of fresh-packaged snacks made for the on-the-go lifestyle of Millennial moms. Fruits, veggies, ready-made smoothies, and even Greek yogurt are in the works for hungry Plurals. (WSJ)

We identified Next Level Fandoms and Pre-Dev Engagement as two major Millennial trends in our Q3 2013 Quarterly Report, and Hasbro has joined these forces together for its SuperFanArt project. Dedicated fans can design and buy 3D printed figurines inspired by their favorite Hasbro brands, the first being My Little Pony. Encouraging the “mini-creator mindset” opens the door for pre-dev engagement and could create excitement around new Hasbro products and custom toys. (Kidscreen)

Looking for a quick Millennial stat to get you up to speed before a strategy session? Searching Ypulse is the best place to start! Silver and Gold members have access to 10,000+ articles, 20,000+ curated Millennial news items, 2 billion peer-generated opinions from our mobile, social Q&A network, and thousands of statistics on Millennials drawn from our bi-weekly national survey of the generation. Your search can begin and end with us. (Ypulse)

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