8 Questions With A 21-Year-Old: Charles Tong

Questions With a Millennial

We're back with our "Questions With a Millennial" feature to provide you with insights on Gen Y straight from the source. Today we chatted with Charles Tong, a 21-year-old college senior.

What’s one hobby that you’re really into right now?

Recently, I’ve discovered board gaming, and I have completely fallen in love with it. I hadn’t realized there were a ton of board games outside of Monopoly and Risk. These are very social games that involve a bit of luck and a lot of social interaction. Currently, I’ve been playing Pandemic, which has you and three other players try to solve a global disease. I’ve also been playing a ton of Battlestar Galactica, which can be best summed up as a crisis management game, while a few of your friends are secretly trying to make your life miserable. I discovered this hobby when my friend showed me the game Settlers of Catan, where you attempt to build the biggest colony on the island of Catan, and I fell in love immediately. The social aspect of these games make them very appealing, and have actually become a nice relaxing way to spend a night with friends.

What are 5 things you couldn’t live without?

1. Internet
2. Music
3. Friends
4. Books
5. Food

What are your favorite TV shows right now?

“A Game of Thrones,” “Doctor Who,” “The Wire,” and “The Legend of Korra”Charles

What about your favorite artists?

Ride, Bon Iver, Slowdive, Bjork, Passion Pit, Purity Ring, DeVotchKa, Spiritualized, M83, Neon Indian, Phoenix, Beach House, The XX, Wilco

What’s your preferred social network these days and why?

I use Facebook for personal usage. Everyone uses it already, and it allows me to manage many different networks easily and its built in messenger has become a de facto replacement for AIM. I also enjoy reddit because it easily connects me to…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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