Redefining “Social” As Millennials Switch Mediums 27 Times An Hour

Today’s post comes to us from Matt, a Youth Advisory Board member who, like many Millennials, notices how often his generation switches from one medium to another in search of new entertainment and information. This frequent shift of attention among technologies — which occurs 27 times an hour! — has inevitably impacted social situations and how Gen Yers interact with each other. Yet, it's also created a new definition of "social" as Matt explains weighing in on the pros and cons of having tons of technology at our fingertips. This desire to multitask and move between mediums creates a challenge for marketers as they have to work harder to capture Millennials' attention, but they can do so by providing ads that are entertaining and worthwhile for the consumer...

To contact members of the Youth Advisory Board, you can email them at youthadvisoryboard @ ypulse.com or simply leave a message in the comments.

Redefining "Social" As Millennials Switch Mediums 27 Times An Hour

Switching Devices FrequentlyThere were many lazy afternoons this past semester when I would be sitting in my living room with a couple of friends. The sun was pouring through our sliding glass door, the television was on, and music was blaring from my roommates’ bedroom. Meanwhile, each person was glued to their smartphone playing Words With Friends or another interactive game with someone who wasn’t even in the room.

I remember looking around the room and thinking that this completely sums up how technology has changed how Millennials interact. We have so many choices to be entertained and informed that it’s so easy to neglect what’s right in front of us, often the people we’re with.

But that’s not to say that technology has made us less social. It may, in fact, be the opposite; we can stay connected to more people than ever through…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

Quote of the Day: “Time I could be sleeping is time I spend on social media. It's now part of my waking up and going to sleep routine and, for those reasons, I'm feeling done with social media."—Male, 24, CA

MasterCard created an audio-only logo for Generation Voice Activated. The finance brand has debuted a sound they’ll play when people check out using their MasterCard. YPulse data shows that 29% of 18-36-year-olds own a smart speaker device, and that number is only expected to grow along with the use of other audio-activated devices. MasterCard wants to make their brand memorable without visual cues to tap into the $40 billion in revenue voice shopping is expected to generate by 2022. (Fast Company)

Brands are acting uncannily human on Twitter—is it working? Many brands (mainly the food and beverage kind) are “behav[ing] like real people with idiosyncratic personalities” on social media to connect with young consumers. This allows them to “stand out it in a crowded marketplace," explains one marketing professor. And Twitter users are engaging: from Sunny D to Steak-umm, brands are going viral for nihilist, and even depressing, first-person posts. (Vice)

Millennials are buying more greeting cards this Valentine’s Day. The National Retail Federation estimates the industry made as much as $933 million yesterday, compared to $894 million last year. Experts say that Millennials are behind the boost as they buy more expensive, albeit fewer, cards that often have personalized flourishes and functions (like audio). They’re also opting for IRL cards over e-cards because, as one enthusiast explains, "I like giving cards because you can hold it, unlike a text or email.” (NPR)

Brands went beyond romantic messaging for Valentine’s Day this year. Some catered to Millennials’ Treat Yo’Self mentality with collaborations like Tinder and Homesick’s “Single, Not Sorry” candle, while others celebrated Galentine’s Day. Target stocked themed decorations for those hosting girls-only get-togethers and Kay Jewelers set aside a site category for Galentine’s Day gifts. Finally, the NRF estimates that pet owners spent $886 million on their furry friends on Valentine’s Day, and retailers like PetSmart advertised accordingly. (ContentStandard)

More college grads are taking on retail jobs as stores up the ante for new hires. Yes, the trend is fueled by student debt and other financial factors, but also because stores that focus on experience expect more than ever from their customer service reps. Workers at Sweaty Betty, Everlane, and Warby Parker are reportedly trained with workshops, tests, and homework. But while, as one expert explains, “Customers are also coming in with much higher expectations of what level of service they’re going to receive,” retail wages aren’t keeping pace. (Refinery29)

Quote of the Day: “The best thing about social media is to connect with people across geographical boundaries and cultures. I love interacting with people that I wouldn’t have otherwise.”—Female, 22, PA

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