A New Age Of Internet-Enabled Friendship

In today's society, it's socially acceptable, and in fact, commonplace for people to meet others online and to develop friendships or relationships stemming from the Internet. Whether through sites of common interests, online meet-up groups, or even online dating, Millennials are turning to the web to find others they get along with. They're constantly plugged in, so it makes sense they're seeking out sites that will help them grow their network in real life. Talking to strangers online is often criticized, but as Millennial contributor Charles explains, this type of interaction is now a major part of culture to meet new people, especially for his generation.

A New Age of Internet-Enabled Friendship

Male at a ComputerWhen I got off the bus at Port Authority Bus Terminal, I didn’t know what to expect. I was warned against this sort of thing, but it seemed harmless and a great opportunity. I figured there wasn’t anything to lose in the first place, so why not? I was going to meet someone from the Internet.

I was only sixteen at the time, a mere sophomore in high school. Back then, I had the free time to play hours of online video games with no remorse. I found a tightly knit community on one of the servers I frequently played on. I went on their forums and had the pleasure to get to know many of its members. We talked, laughed, and spent our afternoons together. Each year, the members of “Axl’s TFC” would get together for a 24-hour video chat session. This was the only time I would be able to see the faces of many I had only known through text and voice, and some I would see for the first time. That year, one of the members that I had become extremely close to in the past year appeared on my screen. He looked just around my age, and given the way the sun seemed to rise and set in the background, he…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I think we have a tendency to think that the world revolves around us and what we want and having a hard time to live up to the standards of having/living a perfect life.”—Female, 22, WA

A new quiz app’s R-rated categories are capturing teens’ attention. FriendO is rising through the ranks of the app store, but not by following the Play Nice, PG strategy that took tbh viral. FriendO users move up their friends’ rankings boards as they answer questions about each other, proving their friendship. If someone sends the app to three friends, they unlock NSFW categories like MSFK (Marry, Sex, Friend, Kill). But people are worried that none of these categories are barred to young users. (Mashable)

TGI Fridays is adding Instagrammable milkshakes to their menu with “cascading toppings,” “suspiciously” similar to Black Tap’s infamous creations. The “Extreme” milkshakes “take dessert to the next level” with a seasonal option piled high with Christmas cookies, and a s’mores shake topped with marshmallows, Oreos, and graham cracker crumbs. If that’s not enough to get Millennials in the door of chain restaurants that they notoriously avoid, both shakes can be ordered “boozy” (a tactic we’ve seen before). (Grub Street)

Seventeen is creating an LGBTQ community for teens with their new, “social-first” platform, Here. Instagram and Facebook form the main hub of Here, along with a dedicated vertical on Seventeen itself. Launched less than a week ago, content is already popping up on social and the site. Seventeen is appealing to the Genreless Generation, and one editor said Here will be “a resource and a place for teens to express themselves.” (Fashionista)

Rising musician Tallia Storm says her Instagram paid for her debut album. Lauded by Sir Elton John and Nile Rodgers, 19-year-old Storm leveraged The Influencer Effect for her own gain: Her debut album, Teenage Tears, was entirely self-financed via her earnings as a “fashion ‘it girl’” and Instagram influencer with over 300,000 followers. As a result, she had full creative freedom and became a “part of the growing staple of acts who are not repped by a major label.” Oh, and she got to open for Sir Elton John. (PR Newswire)

Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner’s online-only beauty brand sensation, has teamed up with Topshop to drive young shoppers in-store. Brick-and-mortar is far from dead, with research from TABS Analytics showing 66% of shoppers prefer to purchase new cosmetics in-store—and brands like this one are betting on IRL retail. Kylie Cosmetics is now available at seven Topshop stores across the country for just five weeks, and they’re accruing long lines of fans to test out the coveted lip kits in person. (BuzzFeed)

“…[Rick and Morty] has our generation's sense of nihilism, fear of wasted time, humor in unpredictability, and shy optimism in human relations.”—Female, 17, TX

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