The Safety Zone Generation

Playing It Safe: Gen Ys and the Caution Effect

The statement that Gen Ys grew up coddled and protected has been used so much by generational experts that it almost feels cliché saying it. But the less-discussed flip side to this over-protection incubation is that Millennials were raised in an environment of high anxiety that taught them from a very early age that there is always something around the corner that could hurt you or go wrong. After all, there was a reason that you couldn’t walk down the street to school by yourself; stranger danger was everywhere. They could very well be called Generation Amber Alert. Add to this early-age hyper-awareness of personal danger the fact that the media they have been surrounded by has essentially been a non-stop loop of terror and highly dramatized fear-mongering-for-ratings and it is understandable that Millennials tend to be an anxious bunch.

Then, when this group of high-risk guarded youth were just starting out on their own, the recession hit and they watched friends and family who had bet big on houses, stocks, and high-stakes careers lose everything. Put all together, you have the perfect equation for a generation with a healthy fear of risk taking. Today, this risk-averse mentality affects how they are living their lives in a major way, from delaying major life decisions to approaching their futures with extreme caution.

Never a generation of rebels (why break the rules when you’re friends with your parents and could break any law you wanted in video games), Millennials today are moving forward in their lives with extreme caution. This general fear of taking big leaps could help explain the fairly drastically delayed ages at which Millennials are choosing to get married and have children when compared to other generations. In some…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Master of None represents my generation because it takes the little things (going to a taco place) and expands on how the choices are debilitating.”—Female, 33, MN

We know how many Millennials planned to watch last night’s debates, but how many knew they could watch in virtual reality? VR social network AltspaceVR has created an experience that allows participants to watch live debates virtually, in a VR re-creation of NBC News Democracy Plaza at New York’s Rockefeller Center. At the launch party, attendees, including Al Roker, were represented as avatars and instead of applause, emojis were used to express reactions. AltspaceVR has been working to build a virtual community over the past year and hopes to bring people together during “a bitterly divided campaign” with the new experience. (The Verge

The latest smart toys are getting kids away from screens. Global sales of smart toys are expected to increase from $2.8 billion in 2015 to $11.3 billion by 2020, and according to one expert, synching a toy to a phone or tablet will soon be as common as putting in batteries. To appease parents concerned with screen time, these toys are increasingly about physically interacting with the toy itself, putting apps in the background. One example of the trend is Smarty: an internet-connected personal assistant for kids that answers questions, reminds them to do their homework, streams music and books, and more. (The Guardian

What’s holding back the Millennials from creating more startups? Money. A new study found that 72% of 18-34-year-olds see entrepreneurship as being "essential for new innovation and jobs in our economy," and almost eight in ten see working for a startup “a signal of success”—but only 22% say they would start one of their own. Lack of capital is holding four in ten back from taking the risk—for women and minorities that number is even higher. (Business Insider

Toy brands are constantly competing for kids’ attention, and now that industry drama is coming to the small screen. Amazon is introducing Toy Wars, a drama series based on the rivalry between toy giants Hasbro and Mattel. The show is based on the non-fiction book Toy Wars: The Epic Struggle Between G.I. Joe, Barbie, and the Companies that Make Them, which follows a “free spirit” Hasbro executive who was forced to take over the company when his “marketing genius” brother passed away from AIDS. The series will be co-written by Book Of Mormon star Josh Gad and The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz, whose father helped turned Hasbro into a top toy company. (Deadline

Communal housing is a growing Millennial trend, but it also dates back to the Middle Ages. Co-housing groups have been catching on as young people and families look to share household responsibilities, cut costs, and have a deeper sense of community with others. While it might seem strange in modern times, the instinct is ancient: According to A World of Their Own Making: Myth, Ritual, and the Quest for Family Values, medieval Europe homes were “essentially gathering places for small groups of revolving residents,” where people lived with friends and extended communities. (The Atlantic

Quote of the Day: “Adventure Time is the show that best represents my generation because we like the nostalgic aspect of watching cartoons but we also like off-the-wall plots.” –Male, 21, MI 

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