The Uncuttable Digital Apron Strings

no strings attachedIn this season of New Girl, a character's visiting mother threatens to punish him in an incredibly convincing way: by no longer paying for his cell phone. The character, Winston, is nearing 30-years-old, otherwise financially independent, and living with roommates; but his continued presence on his family plan is more true to life than comic relief. Many Millennials stay on their family cellphone plans and shared entertainment accounts with their parents footing the bill, even when making other steps toward independence.
 
Wall Street Journal article on the subject earlier this week tells us that 29% of parents of 18-to-35-year-olds continue to pay for their cellphone service even after the kids have moved out. Citing everything from empty nest syndrome to enjoying the access to the entertainment preferences of their young ones, the Boomer perspective is clearly laid out: the prolonged family plan keeps the connection to their kids alive. On top of this, the concept of cellphone and entertainment account independence is a completely new arena. Boomers themselves didn't have to contend with this as a right-of-passage, so they may not see cutting digital ties as a necessary step their own kids need to take on the road to adulthood. But how do Millennials feel about keeping their digital apron strings tied tight well into their 20s and 30s? 
 
In his Huffington Post response to the WSJ article, Danny Rubin posits that if your parents are still paying for your cellphone you are not a true adult, and for Millennials who are managing the onslaught of adulthood with a combination of anxiety and procrastination, that might not be such a bad thing. After all, being a grown-up is scary stuff, and even a small continued reliance on family is something of a comfort.
 
But it might not just…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


Millennial News Feed

“The issue I am most passionate about is jobs/unemployment, because I need a job.”

—Female, 24, OH

Half of all 13-17-year-olds are on Snapchat, according to Ypulse’s most recent social media tracker—so what are they really doing on there? One BuzzFeed writer observed his 13-year-old sister to find out how to “Snapchat like the teens,” and learned that the “app is [her] life.” She wakes up every morning to respond to about 40 incoming snaps with selfies, which she can do in under a minute. Responding is crucial, streaks (responding every day without a break) are “the MOST important thing,” filters are “VERY big,” and “EVERYONE looks at Cosmo on Discover.” When asked about her dad’s reaction to her incessant snapping she answered: “Parents don’t understand. It’s about being there in the moment.” (BuzzFeed

The Tab, a student-targeted site with articles on campus life and local stories, is not ready to let go of their 2.5 million monthly readers preparing to graduate—so they’ve expanded. The Tab National is targeting for 20-somethings, and describes itself as as “the Vice for people who don’t think that Uber or pop-up markets are necessarily a bad thing.” The Tab’s top-tier U.S. and U.K. university sites have captivated advertisers, who are guaranteed that their sponsored posts will get at least 25,000 page views—more than half of brand stories on the site are getting 50,000. (Digiday

You may have heard that Twitter is reworking their timeline algorithm, but what does that mean for brands? The new layout will use an algorithm to showcase the most relevant tweets, and “collated tweets from brands, athletes, politicians and other public figures will appear at the top of the timeline” so users won’t miss any trending conversations. For brands this means well-thought out content will still be key as “[t]he algorithm will likely favor content with higher engagement.” It could also mean more exposure: “organic posts [will] have the ability to drive enormous engagement and cause a buzz.” (The Drum

According to Pew’s new data, Millennial Democrats are far more likely than older generations and their Republican peers to get their political updates through social media, with 74% who are very likely going to participate in their state’s primary or caucus saying they learned about the election through a social site, compared to 50% of Millennial Republicans. Millennial Democrats are also the most likely to identify themselves as liberal: in 2015, half (49%) labeled themselves as liberals, compared to 41% of Gen X, 40%(of Boomer, and 35% of Silent Democrats. (Pew Research Center)

Luxury menswear brand John Varavatos’s shoppable, touchable video ad powered by Cinematique prompted eight times more Facebook engagement than standard videos. Viewers can click or tap clothing like as the video plays, and at the end of the ad are shown the collection they chose, leading to product pages on the website. According to recent data, 33% of fashion video are considered mainly “brand-building,” and only 16% of brands use shoppable videos. But that could shift as more marketers adjust to consumers’ video-consumption behaviors. (WWDDigiday)

Quote of the Day: “I participated in Bikram Yoga, because I found a few YouTube tutorials on it.” –Female, 24, MN

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies