Q&A With David Burstein, Author of Fast Future

David Burstein, 24, is a Millennial writer, filmmaker, and storyteller. He is the author of Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World, the first broad book about the Millennial generation, written by a Millennial. The book takes readers inside the largest generation in history to tell how and why they are changing business, technology, culture, and politics. Ypulse had a chance to sit down with David and get his perspective on how he sees the potential of Millennials and the impact they will have on the future. 

Ypulse: Firstly, let’s talk about Fast Future. What exactly is the Fast Future? 

David Burstein: The Fast Future is the reality we are all living in right now. It’s a world where so much change happens so fast that we can’t always figure out whether we are living in the future or the present because the line between the two is increasingly blurry. While there has always been change in our world, today the exponential growth of digital technology is producing a series of constant simultaneous revolutions in almost every sector. For other generations, this presents a real challenge, because they have to constantly adapt to this Fast Future world. But for this generation, we’ve come of age understanding the Fast Future as the new normal and it’s allowing us to be incredibly effective agents of change, we simply see opportunities where others don’t. There are many disaffected people in Egypt, but Millennials intuitively saw that they could use technology to power a movement for change so they acted on that idea and toppled their leader. 

YP: How do you think large businesses and corporations with hierarchical systems can learn from Millennial business leaders and what strategies would you recommend implementing within their eco-system to attract and…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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