Questions With A 17-Year-Old: Julia Tanenbaum

In today's edition of "Questions With a Millennial," we chatted with 17-year-old high school junior Julia Tanenbaum about social media, news consumption, habits among her generation, and more.

Questions With a MillennialWhat are 5 things you couldn't live without?
1. My cellphone
2. Books
3. My computer
4. The Internet
5. My dog

How do you typically watch TV? On a set or streaming? Alone or with family or friends?
I usually don't watch TV on an actual television. I watch it online on sites like Hulu, or I download it and then watch it on my computer. I usually watch it alone, not with my family.

What's your preferred social network and why?
I usually use Facebook because I like how everyone else is on it. I mostly use it for chatting with people, but I also get a lot of my news from it. However, I really hate how ads for things are showing up in your newsfeed. I don't care about or want to see a brand's newest status. Julia Full Photo

About how often do you check your cellphone?
I check it every couple minutes if possible. Sometimes I have it off because I forgot to charge it.

What's the last thing you watched on YouTube?
I think it was a video of my favorite band, the Mountain Goats, performing live.

How do you typically get news, if at all?
I read the news online. I like my news independent, so I usually read progressive sites like Common Dreams or Alternet. I also like a lot of Occupy and other social movement related pages on Facebook and those are another way I get my news.

What brand do you think really understands your generation and why?
I really like Lush cosmetics because all their products are organic, most are vegan, and I know they treat their workers ethically. These are things I, as a socially responsible consumer, care deeply about, and I try not to support brands like Urban…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "GoPro does a great job appealing to my generation because they convince regular people that they are adventurous, like many college kids like to think of themselves." –Male, 22, MD

Facebook continues to evolve to keep up with social platform competitors attracting younger users. The site has announced changes to their standalone chat app Messenger that will transform it into a platform that third parties can develop content and services for, including games, hotel bookings, tickets, and peer-to-peer payments. The new Businesses on Messenger feature would allow users to chat with brands to make purchases and change orders, and could make shopping a more personal experience. Facebook will also be adding the ability to chat with memes and GIFs, features that have proved popular with young consumers on other chat apps. (re/code,Fast Company)

Millennials are wary of investments, and generally anxious about their finances, and some have turned to new services that let them take baby steps into the financial world. More traditional institutions have certainly taken notice. Northwestern Mutual recently acquired LearnVest, a startup that offers free and paid financial planning services including articles, advice, and access to an expert for guidance on spending and budgets. The purchase is the latest in a trend of financial tech companies being snapped up by older, less digitally savvy brands. (FortuneBusiness Insider)

While many startups and sites are working to combat cyberbullying, one app is receiving an enormous amount of backlash for fostering the behavior in high schools. Burnbook allows users to join communities, usually around a school, remain anonymous, and post on topics of their choice. Although the app encourages “jokes, fails, wins, shout outs, revelations, proclamations, and confessions,” posts have been used to target specific people and groups, and threats have been made to at least one school. Some parents and teens are trying to use the app to spread positivity, but those posts don’t seem to outweigh the “gruesome things.” (Mashable)

Toys “R” Us will begin to sell an experience alongside its products with the hope of regaining their footing in the toy industry. Discount options like Wal-Mart and Amazon have hurt the chain’s sales over the past few years, so new plans to revamp stores will add physical play areas and more technology for kids to interact with. The retailer wants to be a place “where kids want to go and play,” and their new prototype store will open later this year. (Bloomberg)

For better or for worse, technology is becoming an intrinsic part of childhood, but boys and girls might not be growing up with the same tech experiences. A new study of parents of kids ages two to nine found that in many cases, parents give their children different devices depending on their gender. Sons were more likely to be given smartphones or gaming devices while daughters received more tablets (73% vs. 65% for boys). Parents were also more likely to use tech to calm down sons, with 48% using a device to help soothe boys when they are upset, compared to 37% for girls. (Kidscreen)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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