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 UrbanDictionary.com.  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: “Music plays a very important part in my life, especially since Beyoncé is my favorite artist. Her music helps me get through things.” –Male, 14, IL 

Millennials’ wanderlust is no secret, and Ypulse’s May monthly survey found that 72% of 13-32-year-olds are interested in travel. How they travel may be different from previous generations though. A study by Marriott Rewards Credit Card found that 84% of 18-34-year-olds would travel to participate in volunteer activities, compared to 68% of Xers and 51% of Boomers. Younger travelers are also more likely to seek out adventurous activities, and cultural hot spots. (Business Wire)

Short-form video has become more important than ever, and “YouTube alone” may not be enough to capture Millennial and teens’ attention. Short content like six-second Vine videos appeal to young consumers who are overwhelmed with content options, and want to easily share what they see. Brands that create “succinct, punchy, and memorable” clips can stand out—4% of the top 100 tracked Vine videos is already branded content. (Marketing Magazine)

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are going “natural” to appeal to health-conscious young consumers. The chains have announced that they’ll be eliminating artificial colors and chemical ingredients from menus in the coming months, including dyes and high fructose corn syrup. The move continues the trend of big food brands incorporating fresher and less processed ingredients, and attempting to appeal to Millennials’ dining preferences. (Mashable)

It’s graduation season, which means that thousands of diploma-toting Millennials will be coming face to face with their student loan debt. Earnest is a startup that wants to help them deal with it, and navigate a system that “isn’t built right.” The site helps members to refinance and manage all of their loans to reduce their payments and create a payment schedule in just a few clicks. (Fast Company)

Minecraft has become wildly popular with young consumers, so it only makes sense that other brands would want a piece of their virtual building action. Lego may be building a Minecraft rival, called “Lego Worlds” where players can create and explore a digital universe made, we would assume, with Legos. Speculation is that more information about the project, which has only been spotted on current Lego instructions, could come out at next month’s E3 conference. (The Next Web)

Are Millennials and teens watching more streaming than cable? Our tracked data trends have all the stats on that, thanks to our monthly survey of 1000 13-32-year-olds nationwide. Our Silver and Gold subscribers get access to regularly updated charts following their media consumption. We do the heavy data lifting for you, and we’re constantly adding new data to our trends. (Ypulse)

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