Texting While Driving: How Millennials Weigh Risky Behavior

Young people's risky behavior — like texting while driving — are the result of a cost-benefit analysis, one in which technology always wins.

Today's post comes to us from Camilla Nord, who gives us an explanation of what's going on in Millennials' heads — literally — when they decide to text while driving, biking, walking, and more. Their risky behavior comes down to a constant evaluation of the costs vs. the benefits of being constantly connected, and, clearly, with many teens and 20-somethings admitting to texting while driving, they have decided that the positives outweight the negatives. Of course, personal experience makes the biggest difference, and as they gain experience in the long-term, their decisions may change.

Texting While Driving: How Millennials Weigh Risky Behavior

A young guy texts while drivingWe all do it: shift our attention from working, talking, or walking to our cell phone when it buzzes, beeps, or otherwise alerts us of an incoming communication. But depending on where we are and what we’re doing, the costs of such a shift can have serious consequences — many of which we experience time and time again. Walking and texting? You might bump shoulders with a pedestrian coming towards you. Talking and texting? You might experience the psychological phenomenon known as “insertion,” accidentally typing the word you’re saying or saying aloud the sentence you’re typing. We multitask constantly with technology. How does it benefit — and how does it impair — the lives of teens to be continuously shifting attentional focus to a technological interruption?

I wake up every day to the vibration of my iPhone, then glance at it while I brush my teeth to keep up with overnight emails, then plug in my headphones for my bike ride into town, and then spend a large portion of the day texting — both for social and work purposes. Several times a week, I’m walking around the city, mapping my location to find out directions, listening to music, and…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

 “I’m too lazy to exercise on purpose. Too much work…If I can't get it with my dog, my job, or my nightlife, it ain't happening.”
—Female, 23, CA

Snapchat is taking more steps to be the new TV, with a daily news show that will cover current events in short and, dare we say, snappy segments. Stay Tuned will air twice a day with hosts Savannah Sellers and Gadi Schwartz from NBC and MSNBC. The new series is taking cues from Snap’s election show, Good Luck America, which they used for “research and development” on their audience and to gauge interest. Snap says their viewers are young (Ypulse data shows 67% of 13-21-year-olds use Snapchat) and have “a huge appetite for news content.” (NYMag)

The ugly fashion trend is putting its best foot forward—in $800 Birkenstocks. From “dad hats” to “shapeless dresses,” ugly clothing has been having a moment, and the sandal brand is capitalizing on the interest with a design in “the finest imbued and oiled natural leather” and sterling silver nautical buckles by a prestigious German jewelry designer. Clear and mud-stained jeans can move over, because these babies are now available for purchase. They’re “strictly limited edition” so get them while they last—if you’re into that sort of thing. (Quartz)

Discover’s new campaign rewards Millennials for #adulting. The digital and social media effort leverages the adulting trend by focusing on financial hurdles young people face. Some lucky people will receive physical badges to commemorate their successful completion of accomplishments like getting married, having kids, buying your first house and car, and starting your career. Branded content partnerships with Mic.com and Mental Floss are also trying to drive young people’s financial awareness—and, of course, brand awareness. (MediaPost)

A reboot of Disney’s short-lived ‘80s show Duck Tales is banking on nostalgia and a strong digital strategy to win viewers over. Huey, Dewey, and Louie (Donald Duck’s nephews) are coming back to cable on Disney XD, and making their digital debut, too. Short-form content will complement the show across social, and the mischievous trio is already available to take selfies with on Disney XD’s mobile app. From Nickelodeon’s Hey Arnold movie to Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 remake, kids’ networks across the board are betting on shows from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s. (Variety)

Speaking of Disney, did you notice how many leading ladies are in their films these days? Because the box office did. Since 2014, Disney started “betting on girls,” moving away from male main characters in favor of female leads. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, John Carter, Lone Ranger, and more machismo movies flopped again and again, until Disney entered their golden age of girl power (think Brave, Frozen, live-action Alice in Wonderland, and more). Here’s the kicker: out of 16 of the “biggest female-led global blockbusters,” Disney made ten—nine of which were from the last four years. (Forbes)

“[Pokemon Go]’s a fun break from the seriousness of adulthood that gets me exercise while having fun.”

—Female, 27, TX

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