Naming the Next Generation Speaker Q&A: Neil Howe

On June 26th Ypulse will be Naming the Next Generation. Neil Howe, author, historian and generational guru, will be joining us in our quest to find a name for post-Millennials that fits their unique generational experience. Neil has been a pioneer in generational theory, writing nine books on American generations.  Along with William Strauss, he first coined the term “Millennials,” describing this generation with remarkable foresight as far back as 1991. We can think of no one better to help us to name the next generation, in fact, we wouldn't have dreamed of trying without Neil's help. Today Neil tells us about why we need to move away from the term “Gen Z,” how post-Millennials will be the oldest group to not recall a time before the Great Recession, and how this generation could be like Millennials ... on steroids.
 
Ypulse: What do you think is the biggest difference between Millennials and post-Millennials?
Neil Howe: I think it’s important to establish what we mean when referring to “Millennials” and “post-Millennials.” My definition for “post-Millennials” includes those born after 2004, so these are kids currently just entering grade 2 of elementary school. Yes, that date remains tentative. You can’t be sure where history will someday draw a cohort dividing line until a generation fully comes of age into adulthood. But since there are good reasons why social generations tend to be 20 or so years long, I am naturally suspicious of a definition that abruptly limits Millennials to only 10 or 15 birth years.
 
Right now, the biggest difference is the emphasis on socialization, pushed on them largely by their Gen-X parents and teachers. Post-Millennials are being taught from a very early age to inhibit their impulses, control their behavior, and play well with others. This goes…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

According to Pew, a third of Millennials frequently use their phones in public for “no particular reason,” and 13% say they frequently use their mobile devices to avoid interacting with other people. (Queue the “anti-social Millennial” pieces.) But another study might shed some more light on their “for no reason” phone use: 60% believe their smartphones enhances their leisure time. The research hypothesizes that young consumers are using phones for moments of “micro-leisure” throughout the day. (Washington PostSocialTimes)

Malia Obama has grown into a bit of a style icon. Though the fashion world has been watching her mother since their first day in the White House, now that Malia is a little older, and interning for HBO’s Girls in NYC, her looks are beginning to influence her young fans. One designer, whose look nearly sold out after Malia was photographed in, it tells the New YorkTimes that she is “a blossoming influencer.” (JezebelNYTimes)

Millennials are all hopped up on fancy coffee. The CEO of coffee chain Peet’s says that young consumers are “driving a shift in coffee consumption away from traditional economy brands and towards pricier, higher-quality beans." Millennials reportedly are looking for the best cup of joe, instead of the cheapest, and higher price coffee chains are benefitting from their high-end java tastes. (Eater)

You would think that with all the horror stories of cyber-bullying that have become national news stories in the past few years, parents would live in fear of their own kids being victims of bullying—but there is something else that they fear even more. Homework. A new study by notorious social platform Ask.fm found that 52% of parents say they are worried social media use will be a distraction from homework, compared to 21% who worry they may be bullied. (Business Insider)

Google has launched YouTube Gaming, a new platform that aggregates over 25,000 gaming channels into one place so that gamers can find the content they want more easily. Gamers are some of the most popular YouTube creators, and YouTube Gaming “is already a hit with advertisers”—and not just gaming brands. Kotex, Wendy’s, and NBCU have all purchased ads on the site, another sign of the mainstream embracing the gaming world. (Adweek)

Quote of the Day: “Forever 21 is my favorite store to shop in, the clothes are affordable and I can find every type that I might be looking for.” –Female, 27, NY

Netflix is entering the teenage world. Their latest programming plans include shows and movies for teens and tweens, including YouTube celeb vehicle Smosh: The Movie, in an effort to attract more young viewers, “known for their elusive and fickle tastes.” Netflix’s new focus on teens is a part of their goal to be a place for every kind of audience, and could help them gain more subscribers overall, as teens tend to influence their parents’ entertainment decisions. (NYTimesFortune)

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