What’s Being Said About the Next Generation

Born after 2004, post-Millennials are nine-years-old and under. Some may believe the next generation is too young to pay attention to, but the reality is that post-Millennials are already being studied and examined, and the effect their generation will have on culture and brands is already being hypothesized. We watch fascinated as two-year-olds take up playing with iPads as if it were natural to them. We fret about the under-ten set’s health and the child obesity epidemic, and look on in wonder as a nine-year-old takes a fast-food CEO to task. We debate what it means for the future when some parents today embrace their sons’ decision to wear pink, or sport a tutu in public. When we say that it is time to name the next generation, we do so because the conversation about the next generation has already started and post-Millennials are already living through a unique experience; and because every generation deserves to have a name that reflects that unique experience. In preparation for our Naming the Next Generation event, we’ve taken a look at some of the recent headlines about post-Millennials to collect some of the hypotheses about the generation so far:

 

1. They’re Homebodies In Training

According to a post by generational expert (and namer of the Millennials) Neil Howe, the post-Millennial generation is spending more time than ever at home, and less time than previous generations playing outside. Howe, who will be joining us on June 26th to name the next gen, cites a study that finds that from 1997 to 2003 participation in sports and outdoor activities dropped sharply for 6-to-12-year-olds. If this trend continues for post-Millennials, we could see a generation who are not just unprecedentedly comfortable using tech, but are less comfortable with the world outside their…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“There are alleys with street art that I've walked out of my way to take pictures of to share on Snapchat/Facebook.”
—Female, 32, IL

Mattel’s new toy franchise Enchantimals is inspired by Instagram and Snapchat filters. The new line of 14 dolls are all half-animal—think the bunny and deer filters—and each “shares a ritual trait with her animal friend.” Their origin and the YouTube series starring the girls are no doubt a part of Mattel’s “five-pillar strategic plan” to be a more digital brand. Appealing to Millennial parents and their kids has been a tough sell for Mattel, but they’re making moves like changing up Barbie’s body type and asking kids to pick the next big toy on TV to keep up with the next generation. (Kidscreen)

Harry Potter fans, raise your butterbeers up, because this franchise and its fandom will never die. Two more books from the Harry Potter universe are hitting shelves this fall—though they aren’t actually written by J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter: A History of Magic and Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic are instead both written by the British Library, to coincide with an exhibition dedicated to celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first book. The two new works will include “exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive,” to delight serious fans of the series. (USA Today, New York Times)

Restaurants are being designed with Instagrammability in mind. From unicorn foods to neon signs and tile floors with hidden messages, restaurateurs aren’t just tolerating Instagrammers, they’re intentionally acting as “Instagram bait” to earn some free press. And it doesn’t end at Instagrammable design touches. Many restaurants stress having perfect lighting, and one even provides “Instagram packs” at customer request, consisting of “a portable LED light, multi-device charger, clip-on wide-angle lens, tripod, and a selfie stick.” (The Verge, Grub Street)

Some student loan debt is getting “wiped away” in court because of missing paperwork. Students defaulting on their private loans are getting taken to court by aggressive creditors, but as it turns out, many don’t have the required documents to make them pay up. National Collegiate is at the center of many of these trials—one lawyer in Iowa represented 30 cases brought on by them, and 27 were dismissed because of “critical omissions or flaws” in the paperwork. Some Millennials prioritizing paying back debt might just catch a lucky break. (New York Times)

Millennials want older generations to know why they stand by political correctness. While some may despair the overly PC state of the world, many young consumers see political correctness as protection from prejudice, and a show of respect. What some may view as an over-sensitivity epidemic, many Millennials see as “being morally minded.” Ypulse’s PC Police trend tackled this topic, and found half of 13-33-year-olds would describe political correctness as treating others with respect, and 66% agree that political correctness is one way to make culture kinder and more inclusive. (Business Insider)

 “I’m too lazy to exercise on purpose. Too much work…If I can't get it with my dog, my job, or my nightlife, it ain't happening.”
—Female, 23, CA

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