The Uncuttable Digital Apron Strings

no strings attachedIn this season of New Girl, a character's visiting mother threatens to punish him in an incredibly convincing way: by no longer paying for his cell phone. The character, Winston, is nearing 30-years-old, otherwise financially independent, and living with roommates; but his continued presence on his family plan is more true to life than comic relief. Many Millennials stay on their family cellphone plans and shared entertainment accounts with their parents footing the bill, even when making other steps toward independence.
 
Wall Street Journal article on the subject earlier this week tells us that 29% of parents of 18-to-35-year-olds continue to pay for their cellphone service even after the kids have moved out. Citing everything from empty nest syndrome to enjoying the access to the entertainment preferences of their young ones, the Boomer perspective is clearly laid out: the prolonged family plan keeps the connection to their kids alive. On top of this, the concept of cellphone and entertainment account independence is a completely new arena. Boomers themselves didn't have to contend with this as a right-of-passage, so they may not see cutting digital ties as a necessary step their own kids need to take on the road to adulthood. But how do Millennials feel about keeping their digital apron strings tied tight well into their 20s and 30s? 
 
In his Huffington Post response to the WSJ article, Danny Rubin posits that if your parents are still paying for your cellphone you are not a true adult, and for Millennials who are managing the onslaught of adulthood with a combination of anxiety and procrastination, that might not be such a bad thing. After all, being a grown-up is scary stuff, and even a small continued reliance on family is something of a comfort.
 
But it might not just…

 
 
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: “Social media helps me to connect with other parents and to mark the achievements my son has made. It also allows me to brag about my son.” –Female, 32, ID

When phones are considered their lifelines to the world around them, one of young consumers' big daily concerns, and irritants, is a dead battery. Several startups and gadgets have come up with solutions for charging on the go, from solar panel bags to mobile accessories, but one new company is aiming to make emergency charging stylish. QBracelet is a “minimalist wristband” that comes in silver, gold, and black, and doubles as a charger that can bring phones up to a 60% charge. It is currently available for preorder, and is available for both Apple and Android. (Springwise)

Have mercy, Full House might be returning to TV. The mainstay of many Millennial childhoods is reportedly in the “early stages” of being revived, and the show would include several of the original cast members. The fact that repeats of the series remain a “ratings standout” on Nick at Night, and the recent revival of Boy Meets World could be contributing factors. The reboot would continue the run of nostalgia entertainment that is being created for Millennial viewers. (Hollywood Reporter)

Millennials are the most diverse generation to date, post-Millennials even more so, and the 2014-2015 school year marks the first time that white students are the minority in the U.S. In the 1990s, white students made up nearly 65% of the U.S. state school system population, and by the mid-2020s that number will go down to 45%. (Though the pattern is vastly different in private schools). Avoiding whitewashing in media and entertainment will be more important than ever for this generation, who truly will not see a majority white group of kids as their reality. (BBC)

The Legacy Foundation’s Truth campaign has new ads out to convince teens to get more involved in ending smoking. Among those that aired during Sunday’s MTA VMA broadcast, one called out a slew of young celebrities for being an “unpaid tobacco spokesperson,” showing images of them smoking and saying, “They’re the new face of Big Tobacco, and they don’t even know it.” Teens aware of Truth are twice as likely to say they do not intend to smoke in the future, and the new “Unpaid Tobacco Spokesperson” ad has been viewed on YouTube over a million times in the last three days. (Mediapost)

Smoking might not be as popular a dangerous activity as it once was, but that doesn’t mean all teens are playing it safe. The last few years a trend of extreme selfies has been spreading online, with young people taking pictures of themselves precariously perched on tall buildings, and recent events show it’s not going away soon. Last week three young photographers posted a video of themselves at the top of Hong Kong’s fifth-tallest skyscraper, and on Sunday a 24-year-old was arrested in New York for climbing on top of the Brooklyn Bridge. (The Verge)

What if you could collect all the Millennial insights, data, and news that are most relevant to you in one easily accessed spot? Oh wait, you can! On Ypulse.com, the My Library tab is a personalized hub of Millennial content for our Bronze, Silver, and Gold subscribers. Clicking on the star icons next to any insight article, news feed item, or instant poll stat on the site immediately stores them on My Library, creating a repository of relevant information—curated by you. (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