These three stats show how Gen Z and Millennials are incorporating “main character energy” into their lives…
- Over half of Gen Z and Millennials think of themselves as the main character of their life
- Over two in five young consumers say prioritizing happiness is a way they’re being the main character
- Over half of young consumers believe that thinking of themselves as the main character in their life leads to their best selves
There’s no denying the past two years have been a time of reevaluation, reassessment, and realizations for Gen Z and Millennials, and YPulse’s research shows that living through the trauma of the pandemic has influenced these gens to shift their mindsets and take a more intentional approach to life. In fact, 72% of young people agree: “Coronavirus has made me re-evaluate what’s important to me.” One major trend that’s resulted from their perspective shift is “main character energy,” the idea of being the protagonist of your own life. Evidence of this POV is all over social media: #maincharacter has almost 7 billion views on TikTok alone, and #maincharacterenergy has over 170 million. But what does it really mean?
YPulse’s Main Character Energy trend report digs into what exactly the “main character” approach is and how young people’s shift in mindset has led to it, and the micro-trends that have stemmed from focusing on their happiness–and how this content has taken over social media. But our research found that it’s more than a hashtag. Here are three stats that show what main character energy means to young consumers:
Over half of young consumers think of themselves as the main character of their life.
In the last two years, the concept of being the main character of one’s lives has become very popular on social media–but many young people are taking this idea to heart. In fact, 55% of 13-39-year-olds tell us they think of themself as the main character of their life when given the definition “Being the main character of your life is thinking of yourself as the protagonist: actively taking control of your life and trying to focus more on yourself and making your wants and desires first and foremost.” Our trend research also found that even more, 73%, of young people say they have experienced a moment when they felt like the main character of their lives. Most young people see having main character energy as a positive vibe, with 55% of Gen Z and Millennials saying it is a good thing. But while some might interpret this as young consumers wanting to be the center of attention, they’re more likely to describe it as being confident, and making choices that put your happiness first. In fact…
Two in five young consumers prioritize their happiness to be the main character of their lives.
The top two things that Gen Z and Millennials tell us they do to be the main character of their life is make time for themselves, and prioritize their own happiness. Meanwhile, the majority of young consumers say that prioritizing your happiness is a positive thing to do, and that it is ok to say no to things they don’t want to do. Prioritizing their mental health and their self-care are two of the other top things they’re doing to be the main character. As we mentioned, the pandemic pushed many young people to prioritize their happiness especially after a tumultuous two years, and now they’re putting their own needs first, saying no to things that create negativity for them. In fact, our data found that one-third of 13-39-year-olds say that COVID made them realize that they don’t have time to waste doing things that don’t make them happy. One 24-year-old female respondent told us, “[I am trying not to] think about others too much, the happiness of myself is also very important.” Main Character Energy is a way that they’re trying to live their best lives, after so much time has been taken from them, and to make positive changes…
Over half of young consumers who think of themselves as the main character of their lives say it has helped them be their best self.
Among those who think of themselves as the main character of their lives, “be my best self” is the top thing that young people say it has helped them to do. Almost half say that thinking of themselves as the main character has helped them to gain more confidence, and nearly the same number say it has helped them to appreciate the things they have. Over a third say it has helped them to find a passion. One 25-year-old female respondent told us, “[Having main character energy is a good thing because] it encourages you to set goals to make yourself better.” Thinking of themselves as the main character is also helping them to make decisions and changes. When we ask those who think of themselves as the main character of their lives what they’ve done because of this POV, the top responses are to cut off a toxic friendship / relationship, change my style, and take a trip. While the evidence of Main Character Energy might be all over social media, the reality is that this intentional perspective is something that many young people are living as they work to live their best lives in the wake of some very tough times.
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