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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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “I get spending money from helping my neighbors with their computer problems.”—Male, 14, FL

Although controversial to some, influencer marketing isn’t going away any time soon. A new survey by influencer platform Linqia revealed that 94% of marketers across many industries believe influencer marketing to be effective, despite 78% saying that determining the ROI of the approach will be one of the top challenges of 2017. The top benefits cited were creating authentic content (87%), driving engagement (77%), and driving traffic to website (56%). (Adweek)

Vine stars are finding a new home on live stream app Live.ly. The app, a spin-off from the popular video network Musical.ly, generated half a million downloads in its first week by creating a platform where broadcasters can engage with viewers and stream as long as they like—and then there’s the money. According to Musical.ly, the top 10 broadcasters on the platform have made an average of $46,000 in the span of two weeks with a monetization model that lets users make contributions during streams. (Business Insider)

Self magazine is leaving print behind, and going all-digital. The publication has announced that February’s issue will be their last print production, and their new strategy will make them “uniquely positioned to give consumers more of what they love while creating innovative and engaging opportunities for our advertising partners.” The all-digital tactic is a first for a major Condé Nast magazine, and reflects the decreasing interest in print in the digital media era. (The Wall Street Journal)

Teens and kids are embracing tech even more than Millennials. A new Quizlet survey found that U.S. students 16-years-old and younger are 28% more likely than Millennials to say that technology helps them learn faster than traditional tools like worksheets and lectures. Their teachers were even more open to tech: they were 32% more likely than students to say learning tech is good use of classroom time, and 20% more likely to say devices make learning fun. (CNET)

Retirement may be on the outs. According to a Merrill Edge survey, 83% of “mass affluent” 18-34-year-olds say they will still work after they “retire,” “either for income, to keep busy, or to pursue a passion.” Getting to retirement will be a struggle in itself: Half of 18-24-year-olds and 24% of 24-34-year-olds say they will need a side job to reach their retirement savings goal, which three in four believe will be $1 million. (CNNMoney

Quote of the Day: “My favorite thing to do to have fun is stay at home and invite friends over.”—Male, 32, VA

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