The Social Network of Self-Harm

Amidst the call-to-action for issues such as bullying, texting and driving, and substance abuse among teens lies an issue that remains hidden in social network feeds and under sweatshirt sleeves: self-harm. In a group of ten teens, at least one is self-harming, whether through eating disorders or physical injury. We know what these behaviors look like—cutting, starving, purging, criticizing—but more than one-fourth of young adults consciously avoid talking about these subjects and one in six parents of teens admit to avoiding the topic of mental illness. Though teens and parents share age-old experiences of adolescent angst, previous generations were without the constant barrage of images from the internet of physical (albeit Photoshopped) perfection, pro-ana websites, and self-injury how-to forums. The dark side of the internet promotes these activities and sets a grave stage for Millennials to escape from external pressures.
 
Millennial author Anna Caltabiano’s dystopian novel All That Is Red has gained recognition for giving a voice to self-harming teens and a glimpse at how for some “the intimate euphoria of pain can sometimes be all we have to remind us that we are alive.” The book is not meant to be autobiographical, but the adventure story integrates the topics of self-harm and isolation through the trials of its young female heroine. In writing All That Is Red, Anna set out to battle the stigma surrounding self-harm, an issue that is “always there, not just in the United States, but all over the world and we as a society still feel like it isn’t acceptable to discuss it.”

Caltabiano describes self-harm as “inflicting pain on yourself just to concentrate on this one thing you can control,” both feeding and numbing the isolation that teens feel in an increasingly fragmented…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Anyone with natural beauty [inspires me the most when it comes to health and beauty]....everyday people more than celebrities or those with heavy makeup or fake bodies.” –Female, 32, NY

Comparing the app usage of the graduating class of 2015 to last year’s grads shows some apps are cooling down, while others have only gotten hotter. A survey found that Snapchat has experienced one of the biggest usage gains, at a 32% increase. But that’s nothing compared to Spotify, which this year’s teens say they are using 78% more than last years’. Meanwhile, Pandora use dropped 11%, perhaps showing the increased streaming competition is impacting them. (Daily Dot)

Millennials are starting to buy houses. According to a Realtor.com site visitor survey, 65% 25-34-year-old respondents said they intend to buy a home within the next three months, compared to 54% in January. Millennials have also reportedly “pulled ahead” of Xers as the largest segment of home purchasers. We’ll have more on Millennials’ house-buying behavior, preferences, hopes, and dreams in our quarterly trend report, coming out next week! (Bloomberg)

Many brands are donning rainbows and posting pride messages in the wake of the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage, and Facebook is giving all its users a way to show their excitement. The social network has a tool to add a rainbow filter to any profile picture, to broadcast support for the decision. We’ve been tracking Millennials’ views on LGBT rights for some time, and the majority of the generation believes the government has an obligation to protect the rights of LGBT individuals. (DigidayFast Company)

Millennials are better savers than many expected them to be, but women 18-33-years-old are saving half as much in their 401(k) as their male counterparts. There are a few reasons for the disparity: Millennial women’s median annual income is still lower than men’s, and they are more likely to be working part time jobs. Millennial women are also carrying a bigger debt burden, with an average of $20,000 in student loan debt, versus male’s $14,000. (Fortune)

Young consumers’ views on privacy are complex. While Pew found Millennials are the most likely age group to be against NSA surveillance policies, another report finds that “an overwhelming majority" are willing to trade privacy for security. When asked “how willing are you to accept inconveniences and a loss of privacy in exchange for better security,” 34% of Millennial males and 46% of females said they are not bothered if it doesn’t impact them too much. (Business Insider)

Our Q2 2015 Quarterly report comes out next week! Four times a year, Ypulse digs deep into three major trends we see changing the way that young consumers view the world, impacting how they behave, and shifting what they expect from brands. Each trend is backed up with recently fielded data on 13-32-year-olds, Ypulse’s expertise on why the shift is occurring, and the most relevant takeaways for brands who want to appeal to Millennials and teens. Here’s a sneak peak of what’s going to be inside! (Ypulse)

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