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

Quote of the Day: “A lot of people stay in jobs they hate. They feel stuck or need the money. I refuse to do this. I just gave up a Nursing career to be a CSR and I have never been happier.”—Female, 27, IN

YouTube is cracking down on creators that participate in dangerous viral challenges. The media giant updated their community guidelines to take a stronger stance against stunts that spin out of control—like the Tide Pod Challenge. Any creator that performs “pranks that make victims believe they’re in serious physical danger” will earn a strike—three and they’re out. What could constitute a strike? Just ask Jake Paul, who recently drove blindfolded for the #BirdBoxChallenge. (The Verge)

The inner five-year-old of Millennials everywhere is jumping up and down for Hot Topic’s Polly Pocket collab. In partnership with Mattel, the brand that wins at delivering unique styles is dropping a 17-piece collection of nostalgic merch. (The line looks a lot like another throwback collection we called out last year.) In celebration of the iconic toy’s 30th birthday (feel old yet?), ‘90s kids can cop everything from bags to hats to mini makeup palettes that feature shades like “Made in the 90s.” (Nylon)

YouTubers Life OMG! is like The Sims for a generation of aspiring social media stars. Players can pretend to be a video game streamer, a passionate creative, or another influencer. But the game is just as realistic as the kids who play it, making them do chores and deliver newspapers when they’re off the air. Similarly, most kids seem to know the dream is not a full-time gig; just take it from nine-year-old Oliver, who explains, “Of course I will have a good job as well, not just YouTube." (Vice)

Big brands are swooping in to save young shoppers from 2018’s oat milk shortage. The buzzy beverage has become the environmentally friendly alternative to almond milk for Millennial & Gen Z shoppers seeking dairy-free and vegan options. It became a barista favorite this year, mainly thanks to industry upstart, Oatly, which is opening a new factory to up their production. But they better hurry: big brands like Pepsi Co.’s Quaker Oats, Danone’s Silk, and Califia Farms are all getting in on this grain-based trend. (Bloomberg)

The most old-fashioned form of TV is experiencing a surge: over-the-air. While the Post-TV Gen continue to cut the cord, more are buying physical antennas to tap free networks and watch live events. Nielsen data found that this kind of old-school appointment viewing jumped from 9% of all homes in 2010 to 14% last year. Diving deeper into that 14%, about three in five also subscribe to streaming services like Netflix, and their median age is 36. (Fortune)

Quote of the Day: “I’d rather do a job I'm passionate about for a lower salary than do a high-paying but low-rewarding job.”—Male, 18, MA

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