Millennials Think the Biggest Problem Their Generation Faces Is a Person

What’s the biggest problem Millennials face as a generation? We asked them to tell us, and uncovered their 15 greatest concerns about the country, and their future, right now…

Student debt, delayed adulthood, lack of savings, unwillingness to invest—it’s not hard to find headlines declaring these some of Millennials’ biggest problems. Never mind the stereotypes about their shortcomings as a generation (entitled, lazy, and narcissistic are just a few in case you’ve forgotten). Older generations have clear opinions on Millennials’ issues, but what do Millennials themselves see as the biggest problems they face today? We asked them to tell us, and uncovered their 15 greatest concerns about the U.S., and their future, right now.

In our recent monthly survey of young consumers, part of our ongoing Millennial and Gen Z research, we dug into how these generations feel about their country, from how patriotic they are, to whether they think America is changing for the better or for worse. (Reminder: Only 32% agreed with the statement, “I think America is changing for the better,” while a full 75% agreed with the statement, “I think America is changing for the worse.”) Last week, we explored the issues and causes they are passionate about, a list that has shifted in the last few months of political turmoil. But in that same survey, we also asked almost 800 18-34-year-olds, “What do you think is the biggest problem your generation faces right now?”* Here are their top responses:

*This was an open-end response question to allow us to capture the full range of issues that Millennials think are impacting them—without our preconceived ideas shaping their responses. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are the biggest concerns. The list…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“It[‘s] only about the music for me, nothing else dictates what I listen to, I either like it or I don't.”—Male, 28, WA

A new app is getting teens’ attention as it rises through the ranks of the new social apps to know, even surpassing Houseparty’s popularity—but the catch is it’s “piggyback[ing]” on Snapchat. Polly allows users to create anonymous surveys that they can send on Snapchat (there's that anonymity allure again), meaning many users may not have actually downloaded the Polly app, so they “could slip away if friends stop posting questions.” For now though, the app amassed 20 million users and 100 million answers last month, proving it’s one to keep an eye on. (TechCrunch)

Designers are taking to social media to “shame” the retailers ripping off their work. When Zoila Darton spotted a Forever 21 shirt eerily similar to the one she helped create to benefit Planned Parenthood, she posted a tweet to let the brand know their copycat didn’t go unnoticed—and quickly gained attention from fashion editors and others. This isn’t the first time pieces have been copied by Forever 21, but designers have a hard time taking legal recourse against the powerful company. Instead, social media posts are often their best bet. (NYTimes)

BeautyCon is continuing to take “Sephora and Coachella and smash it into one thing” to appeal to young consumers. At the latest L.A. event, 20,000 beauty fans came to meet their influencer idols and try out the latest makeup trends, surrounded by empowering slogans and messages—true to the brand’s idea that “beauty can be something beyond a concealer culture.” Of course, brands were there “to win over the new generation”—ChapStick Duo offered cotton candy while Rimmel London’s “slayground” gave attendees a chance to set down their makeup and enjoy a jungle gym and swing set.
(The New Yorker)

It turns out saving money might not be cord cutters’ top reason for switching to streaming. Instead, a recent Magid Associates survey found that “the attractions” of SVOD programming (aka their content) is their top reason for making the move, followed by the overall decline of TV-viewing among 18-24-year-olds. Cable companies are trying to reel The Post-TV Gen back in by offering lower-cost cable bundles (so-called “skinny bundles”), but stepping up their shows might be a better first step to reversing the “accelerating” trend of cutting the cord. (TheStreet)

Pokémon is reaching out to a new generation of trainers with its first app for preschool-aged kids. Pokémon Playhouse follows in the wake of the massively successful augmented reality app, Pokémon Go (which was so popular that we put together an entire infographic on it) but won’t be AR-based. Instead, Playhouse will tap into the collectibles trend by featuring favorite characters like Pikachu for kids to collect by completing activities. There will also be puzzles and more in the app’s “interactive park.” (Kidscreen)

“I'm literally listening to music any time it is socially acceptable.”—Female, 28, MN

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