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

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “You want me to list every concert I’ve been to in the past year? Are you nuts? I've been to like 30 so far this year.”

—Male, 29, NY

Forget the ping pong tables and free food, Millennials really want a tech-smart workplace. A new study from Dell and Intel has revealed that 80% of 18-34-year-old workers prefer tech-forward perks like augmented/virtual reality than other low-tech perks at their workplace. They are so driven by digital capabilities that 42% say they wouldn’t hesitate to leave their jobs if the environment wasn’t up to par with what they consider “smart.” About three in five say they expect technology to become advanced enough to longer need face-to-face interactions in the future. (Parent Herald)

Branded content is not only a way to reach the ad-skipping generation, it’s also producing results. A recent Nielsen analysis found that branded content generates 21% more brand recall than a pre-roll ad, and is giving brands a boost in perception: affinity for branded content averages 28% in comparison to 18% for pre-roll, and purchase intent is 14% for branded content compared to 11% for pre-roll. The analysis also found that 40% of consumers say they “probably will” or “definitely will” view branded content on future TV/video episodes. (MediaPost

Victoria’s Secret is making a not-so-subtle play to attract Nike consumers to their brand with Victoria Sport, their new athleisure division. The brand has been slowly shifting its image from sexy to athletic to coincide with Millennials’ preference for “being fit [and] strong,” and buying clothes that reflect that. On the new line’s website, Victoria Secret calls out Nike with a quote from one of their Angels saying, “When I tried these, I threw out all my Nike bras." (Business Insider

“Brand love is alive and well with the Dew nation." After Mountain Dew asked fans to vote on which limited-edition flavor should become a permanent fixture in stores, Baja Blast or Pitch Black, a three-month long voting campaign inspired crazy stunts and drew in nearly 5.8 million votes. To encourage votes, the brand hosted an event inspired by ‘90s favorite GUTS Aggro Crag, and challenged fans on social media to bathe in or dye their hair the color of the beverage they wanted to win. Fans complied, and in the end Pitch Black was the ultimate winner with 50.5% of the votes. (Adweek

Millennial small business owners (SBOs) are “in it for the long haul.” A study from Wells Fargo revealed that 80% of 19-35-year-old SBOs plan to grow their business for many years and eventually pass them along to their children, and nearly 60% say that being passionate about their work is what drove them to start their business, compared to about half of older SBOs. Millennial SBOs are also more willing to put it all on the line: 67% are willing to take financial risks to get them there, while only 54% of older SBOs said the same. (Entrepreneur,The Street

“I like Beyoncé, because she's a force to be reckoned with in most aspects of her life. She shows how to be a strong female.”—Female, 26, CO

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies