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…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I want to do the Trans-Siberian Railroad trip from Russia to China to experience diverse cultures in one ride.”

—Female, 30, Maine

Beauty aisles are undergoing "Sephorization" to cater to skeptical Millennials. The beauty industry is expected to grow to $51.8 billion in 2020, and women 18-34-year-olds are currently the largest portion of the cosmetic market, purchasing 10 types of products a year. The age group is a “suspicious crew,” opting to go in-store and signing up for sample box services instead of risking buying online. In response, retailers are rushing to offer consumers the chance to try before they buy. Target has created their own beauty trial box offering, and some online beauty brands are establishing brick-and-mortar locations. (Racked)

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has struck a chord with Millennials. In a global survey of twenty-somethings, the iconic entrepreneur came in third as the public figure young adults most admire, behind Nelson Mandela and Pope Francis. His career perspective resonates with Millennials who “are willing to make less and take on more stress for the opportunity to help build part of that tomorrow.” Transparency and tangible goals are also at play: Musk’s social media feed highlights SpaceX's accomplishments, giving followers a look “behind the curtains of his companies.” (Inc.

Purpose-seeking Millennials have begun skipping beach getaways for social-impact vacations. After Carnival Cruise Line’s research showed that consumers had a “hunger for purpose,” the brand launched Fathom, a cruise where passengers can “partake in on-the-ground ‘impact’ activities such as making ceramic water filters in the Dominican Republic.” Breakout, “a leading company in what’s known as the social-impact travel industry,” has also gained traction, offering professionals 29-36-years-old an opportunity to network with peers in different cities and brainstorm ways to do good. (Bloomberg)  

Teens are spending almost nine hours a day consuming media on phones, computers, and tablets—double the amount of time the average American spends on their phone. A 2015 study from Common Sense Media has revealed that most of teens’ waking hours are spent staring at screens, which one integrative psychiatrist says could lead to “electronic screen syndrome,” or "sensory overload, lack of restorative sleep, and a hyperaroused nervous system." The data also found that kids from eight-12-years-old are spending almost six hours a day looking at screens. (Tech Insider

Angry Birds has taken over McDonald’s. Rovio, the entertainment company behind the movie, teamed up with the fast food giant and Sony to create a 360-degree video that places the audience within a McDonald’s location where the characters from the film fly around tables and interact with dining families, combining “animation with reality.” The spot garnered 4.5 million views in less than a week. This is the first time 360-video has been used in a fast food restaurant setting, but McDonald’s second venture into VR counting their Happy Meal activation. (Adweek

Quote of the Day: The emoji I most send is 100, because I'm 100% real.”—Male, 15, TX

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