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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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “My 2017 resolution is YOLO life...Don't be afraid to take a chance, to fail, and then try again.”—Female, 20, NY

Professional Millennials are turning to apps and loved ones for financial advice—but they still aren’t reaching their goals. A study by finance company SoFi found that 25-34-year-olds are most likely to turn to significant others as a resource for money matters, followed by family, then “nobody,” followed by financial advisors. Almost 40% are using apps and digital tools for personal finance a few times a month or more, but despite their efforts, 38.4% say they were less than successful in accomplishing financial goals last year—indicating that they could use more help. (SoFi

Netflix has turned itself into a must-have for TV viewers. Hub Entertainment Research recently asked U.S. consumers what TV sources they would keep if they could only have three, and found that 36% chose Netflix, followed by ABC at 20%, and then CBS at 18%. For 16-24-year-olds, Netflix is “even more indispensable,” with 56% choosing the streaming service as one of their three—almost three times more than their second choice, ABC at 19%. Our Binge Effect trend found that 64% of 13-33-year-olds are using Netflix the most for binge-watching content.  (Digital TV Europe

University students in the U.K. value good grades more than privacy. A new study from digital learning platform Kortext found that almost half of students agree they would get better grades if their lecturers were able to track their study habits and progress throughout the year, and a whopping nine out of ten would be happy to let their universities use analytics to track their weekly progress to achieve better marks. Growing up in the digital era has made younger consumers more open to sharing information than previous generations—which we covered in our The Privacy Issue trend. (Forbes)

Millennial-owned businesses are feeling really good about 2017. A recent Yelp survey revealed that the majority of businesses had a good 2016, with 68% saying their business performance met or exceeded their expectations. The majority of Millennial business owners felt the 2016 political climate benefit for their businesses, and they were more likely to say it had a positive effect than older respondents. They’re also expecting 69% more revenue growth than their older counterparts for 2017. (Small Business TrendsYelp)

Sesame Street’s Count von Count is a rare find—children are not hearing many foreign accents in their entertainment. An analysis of kids’ TV shows found that out of 282 characters, only 21 were foreign, and “in terms of personality traits, [the] foreign characters were more bad, aggressive and uncultured than non-foreign characters.” According to a Pew report, second generation immigrants make up 11% of the entire U.S. population, and our Diversity Tipping Point trend, revealed that 52% of 13-33-year-olds don’t feel entertainment media does a good job of representing minority groups. (The Guardian

Quote of the Day: “My 2017 resolution is to improve my dog's confidence- She's somewhat fearful.”—Female, 28, PA

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