Digital Dating And The Catfish Phenomenon

HandsA Catfish “is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances” according to  About two months ago, most Millennials, and certainly most adults, didn’t know what the term meant despite the release of a 2010 documentary of the same name. Now, it’s become a common catchphrase in culture, is the subject of a hit reality show on MTV, and is national news following Manti Te’o’s scandal. Millennials are redefining dating in the digital age, and unfortunately that sometimes means being misled online. We recently surveyed 989 13-34-year-olds about the concept of being Catfished and how they feel about online-only relationships.

Having a relationship that solely exists on the Web is more common among Millennials than one might think. Two in ten (22%) say they’ve been in an online relationship before, and nearly this same percentage (19%) believes that an online relationship is just as meaningful as an in-person relationship. This generation has grown up forming friendships and relationships on the Internet, so it’s no surprise that they feel close to others through a screen. One Millennial even wrote an article for us earlier this year about how the Internet enables friendships that might not otherwise be possible. Yes, online friendships and romances often lead to physical meetups, but Millennials still view this way of getting to know someone as socially acceptable. Texting, tweeting, IMing, and video chatting are normal ways for them to build or further a connection. Moreover, Millennials value being constantly connected through technology; they appreciate knowing that their friends or significant other is just a click away.

A recent article in Jezebel


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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I would want anyone that is not named Clinton or Trump to be the next president.”—Male, 23, NY

Millennials are so not feeling this election. In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, only 54% of voters under the age of 35 say they are highly interested in the current campaign, a 6% decrease from 2012, and 18% below the general voter population. Millennials’ level of enthusiasm is a stark contrast from the past two presidential campaigns, which is troubling for current candidates since President Obama’s election relied heavily on the college student vote in battleground states. The poll—which was conducted from Oct. 10-13—also revealed that Clinton was leading Trump among 18-29-year-old voters by only 13%. (The Wall Street Journal

Chipotle has launched a weekly Snapchat show to get Millennials on their side once again. School of Guac is targeted to 13-24-year-olds, and is described as “after-school special meets variety show meets satirical news program.” Young performer Lorena Russi hosts the minute-long episodes, which can vary from DIY with burrito foil to an explanation on why tortilla chips are triangular. Unlike other brands’ TV programming created for Snapchat, Chipotle’s resembles the polished content usually found on traditional TV, and even incorporates fake commercials.  (Digiday

Millennials will be a crucial player in the real estate revolution of next year. In what is described as a “‘Oh, shift’ moment” for the housing market, 52% of potential home buyers next year will be first-timers, and 61% of them will be under the age of 35—according to an annual survey from®. Millennials will be mostly seeking a home is for growing families, and almost four in ten of 25-34-year-olds say single-family homes will be the type they’ll be looking to buy, followed by townhomes. Ample space, yards, and safe neighborhoods are also in demand, with 28% stating they will like to live near the suburbs, followed by 22% who prefer outlying suburbs. (

Netflix is almost “12 times more popular among teens” compared to other streaming services. Piper Jaffray’s recent semiannual survey on U.S. teenagers revealed that 37% of teens are watching Netflix daily— a significant number when only 3% can say the same for Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. YouTube came in second for teen daily video consumption at 26%, an upward trend for the platform and the first time it has come ahead of cable TV which followed at 25%. (Tech Times

Facebook wants to connect online friends in the offline world. The social platform has released a new batch of tools to let users buy tickets to events, schedule appointment with businesses, and get local dining recommendations from friends by selecting an area from their News Feed maps. The update was created to solve the “unbelievably challenging process in 2016 to figure out what there is to go do, and then…decide which of those things you want to go do and then actually engage in the doing of said things." They’ve also expanded activity streams to let users track what events their friends go to and their suggestions. (Mashable

Quote of the Day: “I like Last Week Tonight With John Oliver because he dives very deep into topics that are not always appealing, pleasant, or interesting. He turns these topics into something hilarious, entertaining, and educational at the same time.”—Male, 32, KY

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