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: “I usually get my recipe ideas from Allrecipes or other food websites.” –Female, 32, NY

Lower gas prices are putting more Millennials into the driver’s seat. According to a report from AAA, 19% of consumers younger than 35-years-old say they are driving more due to the large drop in the price of fuel, nearly double the percentage of older generations who say the same. Millennials are known for not buying cars, and relying more on ride sharing services and public transportation. But this report is another indication that the generation has stayed away from the auto market because they couldn’t afford it, not because they didn’t like it. (Jalopnik,Chicago Tribune)

Of all things holding Millennials back in the workplace, most wouldn’t expect it to be a “lack of technological prowess.” But even though they are the first generation of digital natives and are certainly social-media savvy, when it comes to spreadsheets, effective Google searches, and even email, many are at a loss. Technology in the office can seem outdated to Millennials who use more efficient digital tools in their personal lives. But because younger workers “spend 43% of their time on administrative work,” mastering office tech is essential. (Time

In the last few years retailers online and off have had to adjust to the fact that Millennial men are growing to be particular fashion consumers. To appeal to this demographic, some are beginning to cater to them not just in stores, but on social media as well. Women aren’t the only ones sharing fashion photos, and increasingly popular accounts like @NordstromMen and @asos_menswear are dedicated to young male consumers, who are often ignored by other retailers. Brands neglecting to include menswear in their Instagram feed could be missing out. (Digiday)

Young consumers get their news online, and Mode Media hopes to become their go-to platform for high quality content. The site currently boasts 100,000 articles and videos about style, food, entertainment, sports, family, and news arranged in channels vetted and hand-curated by editors. Mode’s plan to be the “largest native feed distribution platform outside of Facebook” involves new video series featuring YouTube stars and other online personalities, and a focus on content that is pre-approved by experts, instead of friends. (Adweek)

E-retailer Net-A-Porter is just as surprised by the athleisure trend as you are. After launching Net-A-Sporter last summer with no extra budget, the activewear arm has grown so much that their sales numbers are now comparable to the rest of the site. Net-A-Sporter has grown from carrying 16 to 61 different brands, and also confirms that the majority of people shopping for activewear aren’t planning on breaking much of a sweat, with a 60-to-40 ratio of lifestyle shoppers versus athletes. (Racked)

Need an easy way to find a recent statfrom shopping to political to entertainmenton young consumers? A search of any topic Ypulse.com surfaces all related data that we have on the topic, pulled from our ongoing monthly surveys of Millennials 13-32-years-old. Gold subscribers can click on “show all data” to explore in-depth tables that breaks down statistics by gender, race, ethnicity, education, and location. It’s instant, current data about the Millennials generation, at your fingertips. (Ypulse)

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