Millennials Reveal Who Represents Their Generation

Mark Zuckerberg. Lady Gaga. Justin Bieber. These are among some of the top influencers among Millennials since they’ve induced innovation across society and paved the way for a generation of individuals who seek to make a name for themselves too. We recently surveyed 400 14-34-year-olds asking who they believe defines their generation, and it’s no surprise that some of the most creative, active, and cause-driven stars were the ones they mentioned the most.

Mark Zuckerberg is a top Millennial icon since he has achieved entrepreneurial success, which many young people hope to reach too. He had a great idea that’s shaped society and he brought it to life while still in college. They know his story thanks to “The Social Network” and feel a connection to him since he produced a product that is of huge importance to their generation in particular. Facebook isn’t just a way to communicate with friends; it’s become a lifeline for many young people to stay informed about the world at large. Many Millennnials aspire to create something as powerful as he did and they appreciate that amidst his success, he’s still laid-back, wearing jeans and hoodies to work.

Believe it or not, but Bieber is also someone who they feel represents their generation since he’s led the way in using social media to become a star. Many young people feel responsible for his fame as they found him on YouTube, contributed to his videos going viral, and were part of the inescapable phenomenon that’s become Bieber Fever. To many, he proves that anything is possible and you can use platforms like YouTube and Twitter to create a brand. His story is also very transparent since the public was part of his journey, and his rise to fame was depicted in the movie “Never Say Never.” But most of all, he’s shown that it’s possible…


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“I’ve been using Apple products for years. Although Samsung technology is probably better, I am so used to Apple that I would probably not switch.”—Female, 18, PA

Major financial institutions are still trying to figure Millennials out, so Prudential conducted a survey to gather some much-needed intel. The Great Recession-era adults are pessimistic about their financial futures: 79% don’t believe that “comfortable retirement” will be a possibility when they’re in their 80s and 70% think “it’s impossible” to save the recommended annual amount to make it possible. Ypulse found that saving for retirement falls behind other, more imminent financial priorities. (MediaPost)

Teens are rallying around the issue of gun control in increasing numbers. A recent survey from Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords (conducted by Ypulse) found that gun violence prevention is the top issue young people expect the candidate they vote for in 2018 to take a stance on. Six in ten 15-18-year-olds said they’re “’passionate’ about reducing gun violence” and 72% of 15-30-year-olds agreed that politicians who don’t do more to combat gun violence shouldn’t be re-elected. (Mic)

Need proof that the future of STEM is female? Just take a look at children’s drawings. From 1966-1977, researchers asked 5,000 students to draw a scientist, and about 99% of them drew men. Fast forward the same study to 1985-2016, and one-third of children drew a female scientist. But we still have a long way to go to break gender stereotypes: 14-15-year-olds “drew more male than female scientists by an average ratio of 4-to1." (CNN)

Digital consignment store ThredUp wants to open 100 IRL stores. They’re expanding their physical footprint from two to ten stores this year, with more planned for the future. Why are online-only brands increasingly building bricks-and-mortar? (Think: Glossier, Everlane, even ThredUp competitors like The RealReal). Creating experiences with guests from a common check-out up to an in-store event builds “trust” and “awareness.” (Glossy)

Are Instagram and dating apps “crippling” relationships? Psychotherapist Esther Perel thinks so. Ypulse data shows 27% of 18-35-year-olds have used a dating app, 12% use them weekly, and nearly eight in ten use other social media apps weekly or more often. All that time scrolling past potential partners creates a new kind of loneliness: Instead of feeling “socially isolated,” they’re “experiencing a loss of trust and a loss of capital while you are next to the person with whom you’re not supposed to be lonely.” (Recode)

“We should be nice and good to others because we would want the same in return, being rude to someone doesn't make the situation any better.”—Female, 21, MI

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