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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Quote of the Day: “For me being an adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

Gilmore Girls Snapchat filter unlocked big numbers for Netflix. When they took over 200 local cafés to recreate the show’s Luke’s diner and promote the upcoming reboot, Netflix also added Snapcodes to 10,000 coffee cups that gave customers access to a sponsored filter for up to an hour. The filter, which featured a sign from Luke’s and the image of toaster with the show’s premiere date, was viewed 880,000 times and reached more than 500,000 people in one day. Snap to Unlock is a fairly new ad offering from Snapchat that has already been used by Sprite, Burberry, and Cinnabon. (Adweek

REI has tapped into Facebook 360 videos to reach multicultural Millennials. As part of their “Access Outdoors” campaign, the outdoor gear retailer released three two-minute long Facebook 360-degree videos featuring artists in Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles working on art installations. Vix, a publisher whose audience is 65% Hispanic and 12% African-American, was used to share the videos, with the goal that the young residents from the three major cities would see “the outdoors [as] more accessible.” The effort reportedly generated more than 822,000 views on Facebook. (Digiday)

Millennial women have almost closed the alcohol consumption gender gap. According to new analysis: “Men born between 1891 and 1910 were 2.2 times as likely as women to drink alcohol; among people born between 1991 and 2000, that ratio fell to 1.1.” The likeliness of alcohol abuse in young women has also increased from a century ago, and is currently nearly equal to young men. Analysts say the closing of other gender gaps, like education, employment, and status, has given women more opportunities to drink. (The Atlantic

Netflix and Hulu may have some major competition coming their way. LeEco, the "Netflix of China," will launch LeEco Live in America early next year, and will include shows and movies from partners like Showtime and Lionsgate. The brand, which been ‘dominating’ the Chinese market, started as a streaming video service but has grown to also develop tech like TVs, VR headsets, and smartphones. Their new service will be programmed to work seamlessly across these devices, providing a “consistent experience.” (Business Insider

Children’s curiosity is fueling the popularity of nonfiction digital content. Research from Insight Kids’ has revealed that 92% of kids like watching nonfiction entertainment, which can include “tutorials, reality programs, ads/trailers, behind-the-scenes footage, music videos, ‘making of’ content and cast interviews.” Being in control of what they learn is driving their interest, with 62% saying non-fiction content inspire them with ideas on what to learn or do. (Kidscreen)  

Quote of the Day: "I do not want any of the candidates currently in the running to win the election.”—Male, 22, FL

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