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: “I like yoga because It can be used for the body, mind, breath, and soul if desired. I can do it alone or with other people. It can also be as short or long as I want.”—Female, 27, AR

Google has opened a new space in the U.K. to help YouTubers “learn, connect, and create.” YouTube Space London, the second largest Google facility for YouTubers, includes soundproof studios, editing suites, and a store for creators to sell their merchandise. It is also one of the few locations to have live streaming capabilities in 4k. The space will also feature workshops to build up creators’ audiences and ultimately “help people to develop and grow their careers.”  Although visitors are welcome to the location, production studio access is limited to YouTubers with over 10,000 subscribers. (Business Insider

Women’s clothing brand Milly has hit refresh on their visual identity and they’re making Instagram a central part of their brand narrative. Instead of taking the traditional route and redesigning their logo to evolve the brand, Milly created “an arsenal of 400 images” for Instagram that are meant to pop on viewers’ feeds and shows their “evolving personality.” Instagram has proven to “powerful tool for an industry that sells aspiration and desire as well as it does skirts and blouses,” and serves as a way for consumers to discover brands and experience their overall look and feel. (Fast Company

A new social sports platform is aiming to be the only app fans will ever need. GameOn allows fans to looks up sports scores, news, and updates while engaging in chats with friends, athletes, and content creators. While its biggest hurdle will be convincing fans to download yet another sports app, the startup has many well-known celebrities and athletes on board for the assist. Investor and former NFL player Milloy, says of the platform: “I was sick of needing five apps to keep up with all of my teams, and I have too much on my phone as it is…The game watching experience on GameOn is so great, it’s hard to go back to just watching an entire game on TV.” (GeekWire

For the younger generation, going to college is an Instagram opportunity. A pair of freshman roommates at Ole Miss have gone viral for redesigning their small standard college dorm room to resemble a luxurious palace. Spending on dorm room décor has reportedly increased over the last few years, and extreme dorm makeovers are increasingly common, as evidenced by the 68,296 #dormroom photos on Instagram. The trend is part of a larger pattern of teens seeking more premium experiences from higher education institutions. A Bloomberg analysis of 94 student housing complexes in the U.S. found 80% have swimming pool access, 55% have on-site tanning salons, and 45% have beach volleyball courts. (The Guardian)

Millennial moms may be “the greatest lifetime monetary value of any consumer segment in the history of marketing,” so how can they be reached? After following a group of Millennial moms, Connelly Partners’ say empathy is key for brands looking to connect. The advertising agency found that the pressure is on for the moms of today, as they juggle being experts in cyber-security, nutrition, education, and physical fitness, all while portraying a “put together” image. Brands need to acknowledge their anxieties and challenges while offering them resources and reminding them to embrace the hard work they’ve done so far. (Advertising Age

Quote of the Day: “Facebook is my favorite app, because it’s my source of news and how I keep up with friends/family.”—Female, 19, OR

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