I’ll Be Watching You: Plurals’ Hyper-Monitored Childhoods

Plurals, often the children of Millennials, are being watched at almost all times from the day they are born, with tech acting as a second set of eyes for vigilant parents. We’ve spoken in the past about the ways that Millennial parents could change families, from bringing the baby to the biergarten to relying on lifehacks and tech to help them navigate parenthood. Now we’re seeing a new implication to this tech/parenting integration. Hyper-monitored childhoods are becoming the norm, moving beyond the generically over-protected upbringings of many Millennials, and making growing up a tech-supervised, increasingly quantified experience.

 

Baby monitors have been around for years in audio form. But today, video monitoring systems have become the norm on baby shower registries, and cameras have become as common a fixture above cribs as mobiles. Nightvision has moved from spy ware to parenting tool, with cameras that can see in the dark to make sure all is well in the nursery after children have been put to bed. Systems like iBaby Moniter send a video feed of baby straight to mom and dads’ smartphone—letting them not just watch, but also talk to their child from wherever they are. iBaby offers multiple monitors, and a two finger swipe on the accompanying app allows users to quickly change views between cameras throughout the house. Once children have graduated from the crib, whole house monitors are available, streaming feeds of every room to laptops and mobile devices. Though currently less common, it is not too hard to imagine that Millennial parents used to seeing their child’s every move might want to continue to watch as they grow up, even outside the house. Systems like WatchMeGrow put cameras into the classroom, equipping childcare centers with video monitoring systems…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "I follow the news so I can make fun of the GOP presidential candidates..." -Male, 30, KN 

Selfies might be the next innovation in online security. MasterCard is experimenting with facial recognition scans that would ask users to simply look into their phones and blink to approve a purchase. Biometric security like face scans and fingerprints are easier than remembering a password, and the brand believes that “the new generation, which is into selfies…they'll find it cool. They'll embrace it." (CNN Money)

Millennials’ history of disrupting industries has many long-standing brands making big changes to appeal to young consumers—who are aging into their years of spending power dominance. Time’s list of “old person” brands getting a Millennial makeover include Maxwell House, Residence Inn, NASCAR, Good Humor, and KFC—all launching rebrands and “tweaking old products…with varying degrees of success—and awkwardness.” NASCAR’s efforts include a racing festival that includes DJs and foam parties. (Time)

We included golf on our list of things Millennials are being accused of killing, and now golf clubs breaking some sport taboos to try to attract young players. Footgolf, a hybrid soccer/golf game attracting twenty-somethings, is being offered by some. Speedier games, speakers on carts, prizes for Instagram golf pics, and beer tastings are other tactics being employed—and upsetting traditional golfers. (Chicago Business)

Put on your top hat and bow tie, the “Monopoly movie has passed go.” Lionsgate and Hasbro have greenlit a film based on everyone’s favorite property trading game, and starter of family fights. The 80-year-old board game is the latest classic toy box item to be given time on the big screen, and the film will reportedly be an action/adventure following a boy from Baltic Avenue building his fortune, and of course avoiding bankruptcy and jail. (Kidscreen)

Unplugging is not just a trend with young consumers here in the U.S. A survey of 16-24-year-olds in the U.K. found that only half watch live TV, preferring online streaming for the rest of their media consumption. Online viewing has “disproportionately affected” news shows, and TV news viewing among the age group has dropped 29% between 2008 and 2014. In our most recent media viewing tracker, we found that 29% of 13-32-year-olds watch live cable five or more days per week, while 35% watch Netflix and 10% watch Hulu Plus five or more days per week. (The Guardian)

The glittery dust has settled. There is no longer any question that digital celebrities’ popularity rivals Hollywood stars’—for teens, they’re even more popular. So what does celebrity look like now? Fame has been redefined by the next generation of viewers, and we’re officially in a new era of celebrity influencers. We cover this trend in-depth our Q2 2015 Ypulse Quarterly report, available to Gold subscribers. (One-off pricing for the report is $1250.) (Ypulse)

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