The Issues Millennials & Gen Z Are Most Passionate About—& Those They Think Are Getting Worse

As the political landscape changes rapidly, we checked in with Millennials and Gen Z to see what causes they’re passionate about now—and what issues they believe are getting worse in the U.S....

On Tuesday, Millennials and Gen Z celebrated their country—but they’re wary (to put it lightly) about the current state of the nation. There’s no need for us to outline the current turbulent state of politics—everyone with a computer, TV, or Twitter account is well-aware of the tensions and controversies surrounding the White House and Washington. But we can tell you how the political landscape is impacting young consumers. Several months into the new presidency, we decided to check in with Millennials and Gen Z to find out that causes they’re currently passionate about, and which they believe are getting better or worse in the U.S. While our survey found that 75% of 13-34-year-olds in the U.S. say they’re proud to be an American, and 70% consider themselves to be patriotic, there are clear signs that they’re anxious about the direction the country is taking. Only 32% agreed with the statement, “I think America is changing for the better,” while a full 75% agreed with the statement, “I think America is changing for the worse.” That’s a significant number. Millennials were slightly more likely than Gen Z to agree that the country is changing for the worse, at 72% and 76% respectfully. Interestingly, though there were also slight differences between the number who agreed with the statement by region (young consumers in the Midwest were slightly less likely to agree, at 72%, and those in the West were more likely to agree, at 77%) the majority of all regions were on the same page.

In January 2017, we asked 13-34-year-olds to tell us the causes/issues that they’re passionate about. But with the…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I think we have a tendency to think that the world revolves around us and what we want and having a hard time to live up to the standards of having/living a perfect life.”—Female, 22, WA

A new quiz app’s R-rated categories are capturing teens’ attention. FriendO is rising through the ranks of the app store, but not by following the Play Nice, PG strategy that took tbh viral. FriendO users move up their friends’ rankings boards as they answer questions about each other, proving their friendship. If someone sends the app to three friends, they unlock NSFW categories like MSFK (Marry, Sex, Friend, Kill). But people are worried that none of these categories are barred to young users. (Mashable)

TGI Fridays is adding Instagrammable milkshakes to their menu with “cascading toppings,” “suspiciously” similar to Black Tap’s infamous creations. The “Extreme” milkshakes “take dessert to the next level” with a seasonal option piled high with Christmas cookies, and a s’mores shake topped with marshmallows, Oreos, and graham cracker crumbs. If that’s not enough to get Millennials in the door of chain restaurants that they notoriously avoid, both shakes can be ordered “boozy” (a tactic we’ve seen before). (Grub Street)

Seventeen is creating an LGBTQ community for teens with their new, “social-first” platform, Here. Instagram and Facebook form the main hub of Here, along with a dedicated vertical on Seventeen itself. Launched less than a week ago, content is already popping up on social and the site. Seventeen is appealing to the Genreless Generation, and one editor said Here will be “a resource and a place for teens to express themselves.” (Fashionista)

Rising musician Tallia Storm says her Instagram paid for her debut album. Lauded by Sir Elton John and Nile Rodgers, 19-year-old Storm leveraged The Influencer Effect for her own gain: Her debut album, Teenage Tears, was entirely self-financed via her earnings as a “fashion ‘it girl’” and Instagram influencer with over 300,000 followers. As a result, she had full creative freedom and became a “part of the growing staple of acts who are not repped by a major label.” Oh, and she got to open for Sir Elton John. (PR Newswire)

Kylie Cosmetics, Kylie Jenner’s online-only beauty brand sensation, has teamed up with Topshop to drive young shoppers in-store. Brick-and-mortar is far from dead, with research from TABS Analytics showing 66% of shoppers prefer to purchase new cosmetics in-store—and brands like this one are betting on IRL retail. Kylie Cosmetics is now available at seven Topshop stores across the country for just five weeks, and they’re accruing long lines of fans to test out the coveted lip kits in person. (BuzzFeed)

“…[Rick and Morty] has our generation's sense of nihilism, fear of wasted time, humor in unpredictability, and shy optimism in human relations.”—Female, 17, TX

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