Who’s at The Bottom of the List of People Gen Z & Millennials Trust?

They’re known for not trusting institutions and not believing much of what they hear. Can you guess what public figures these skeptical generations trust most, and who they trust least? We have the ranking…

Last year, Oxford’s Word of the Year was “post-truth”—a telling decision for an era in which fake news abounds, skepticism rules, and Millennials and Gen Z are never quite sure what to believe. Their faith in large institutions, including banks and churches, has plummeted. A recent Forbes article even suggests that Millennials should be the guides in navigating the post-truth world, because it’s their “natural habitat.”

Our Age of Not Believing trend looked at this shift back in 2014, and found that for these young consumers, not believing what they see in front of them had already become an instinct: 89% of Millennials questioned whether what they read or see online is true, and 82% took everything they read or see “with a grain of salt.” These skeptical groups are on constant watch for signs of hoaxes, pranks, and cover-ups. In the current age of Photoshop abuse, Instagram filters, and catfishing, Millennials and Gen Z are hyperaware of the ways that they can be “fooled” by what is on their screens. With trust at an all-time low, it’s become a rare, and valuable commodity.

After growing up in a “post-truth” world, who can young consumers trust? In our recent Influencer Effect research, we looked at the trust levels that young consumers have in a range of public figures to see who they are listening to—if anyone. Here’s a look at that ranking, which shows who (outside of their own friends and family) Millennials and Gen Z trust the most—and who they trust the least:

Ok, so we're not too surprised that Millennials and Gen Z were overall most likely to say that they don't trust…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I love watching movies and shows uninterrupted.”—Female, 18, CO

Mattel just made the first hijab-wearing Barbie. She’s based on Ibtihaj Muhammad, who won the Olympic bronze medal for fencing for the U.S. while wearing a hijab. Brands are bringing diversity to the toy aisle to appease The Diversity Tipping Point generation’s appetite for inclusion, and this new doll is a step in the right direction. She gives girls a new role model and (in Muhammad’s words) encourages them "to embrace what makes them unique." Mattel has plans to create an entire line of Barbies based on inspirational women next year. (BBC)

Another ‘90s classic, Are You Afraid of the Dark, is coming to the big screen and revisiting Millennials’ childhood nightmares. Nostalgia entertainment is big business for the entertainment industry, who are hoping to capitalize on Millennials and Gen Z’s trademark wistfulness, and it doesn’t hurt that this screenplay for the remake is being written by It’s screenwriter. With horror proving it can bring in massive audiences these days, this mixture of dark content and nostalgia is a good bet to get them in theaters. (Collider)

Millennials are causing a “baby bust”—they aren’t having enough kids to keep the U.S. population at the “replacement level.” According to the Negative Population Growth Inc., the birth rate has dropped below the death rate, with women are having an average of just 1.8 births compared to the 2.1 needed to keep the population steady. The research blames all Millennials for the drop, reporting that “irth rates for all age groups of women under 30 fell to record lows in 2016.” (Washington Examiner)

Kellogg’s is coming back to NYC, with a bigger (and maybe better) cereal café than last year’s Times Square popup. The 5,000 square foot Union Square space will be a permanent place for Millennials to try crafty concoctions from Kellogg’s, who hopes getting the demo to rethink the product will keep Millennials from “killing” cereal as we know it. The company claims “It’ll be a destination for foodies and people to chill, create and explore the endless possibilities of cereal all in one place, whether it be for breakfast, lunch or a snack later in the day.” (CSA)

People are binging Netflix in public—at work, in line, and even on the toilet. A new study from Netflix found that 67% of viewers have watched a show or movie in public, 37% admit to tuning in at work, and 12% have pressed play in a public restroom. One in five have cried during a public streaming session, and 11% have seen a spoiler on another public streamer’s screen—but that’s not stopping them. The Binge Effect is real and bigger than ever: 60% of respondents said they binge more content than they did last year. (MashableMarkets Insider)

“I really enjoyed Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul does a really good job capturing the same intensity and intrigue that the original series did…”—Male, 28, NY

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