By Alison Hillhouse, MTV Insights
Constant feedback looping is a way of life for Millennials, who grew up with “full on” parenting, as well as the omnipotent social media machine, powered by “likes”, lols, RTs and <3333333333. So it’s not surprising that Millennials are creating new apps, sites and forms of digiquette that fuel the loop. In chatting with MTV’s Inner Circle, our college trend panel, we’ve learned about two new feedback mechanisms gaining momentum at universities:
- Anonymous compliment sites – Compliment Facebook pages have been cropping up for colleges around the country — students anonymously post compliments for friends, crushes and randoms in their Psych 101 class. While compliments run the gamut between sincere and joke, most seem to reflect a witty hybrid of both. A sampling:
o “_____ has her sh*t together more than anyone I know. The most beautiful and the most insightful.” ~Kenyon compliments
o “______, every time I see you I just feel happy …. Also, you make a mean Spotify playlist.” ~Kenyon compliments
o “____, you are like the kidney of Hamilton College. People abuse you sometimes, but everyone loves you and needs you no matter what.” ~ Hamilton compliments
o “_____ has a neat beard, a cool personality, and rocks at social media (texting, twitter, and stuff like that)! He’s also nice. Xoxo” ~Michigan Law compliments
- Lulu- This new app is exploding at the University of Florida and other campuses down South – it allows girls to rate guys in their Facebook network across a variety of dimensions from manners to sense of humor to commitment potential. Each guy is also assigned positive hashtags (e.g. #WillSeeRomComs or #Perfect Grammar or #SexualPanther) and negative ones (e.g. #IntegrityChallenged or #Worlds Worst Massages).
Many guys are obsessed with their rankings and feedback, and are clamoring to check girl friends’ cell phones to check their latest status. And when they aren’t pleased, we’re seeing responses in Twitter like this:
Tweet: “I HAVE TROUBLE WITH COMMITMENT?!?! YOU INSIGHTFUL BITCH! #Luluproblems #yoursoright”
With all the interest in soliciting “likes” & positive feedback across different platforms, we’ve also heard rumblings of annoyance that peers are so feedback obsessed. Some of this is reflected in snarky or fake posts seen on these sites. Regardless, we don’t see the “looping” trend reversing anytime soon.
By Matt Cohen, MTV Insights
In true Millennial fashion, the students behind the recently-launched “NYU Hook Ups” Facebook page are taking an organized and responsible approach to…well, anonymous sex. Tackling their new venture with the same dedication and efficiency they’d normally reserve for an extracurricular activity, these students are helping classmates hook up faster and smarter.
Why waste time scanning through hundreds of OKCupid profiles when you can post anonymously on NYU Hook Ups and wait for the “Likes” from potential hook up buddies to roll in?
Some of “NYU Hook Ups” safety and efficiency features include:
- a 2-step verification process to confirm that hook-up seekers are actual NYU students (No need to open yourself up to Craigslist randos when you can stay within the safety of your college bubble)
- a commitment to keeping post-ers “100% anonymous” and to “hook[ing] you up in less than 24 hours” (Sure beats Match.com’s six-month guarantee)
- an advisory urging users to “be careful” and “always make sure to use condoms” (Thank you free NYC condoms!)
As Millennials take unexpectedly responsible approaches towards other “taboo” or “rebellious” behaviors – whether it’s serving as the sober “babysitter” for a friend who is planning to get wasted or using home testing kits to make sure their molly is free of “harmful substances” – this generation is truly redefining what it means to have “good clean fun.”
UPDATE: NYU Hook Ups announced yesterday that they will be transitioning over to a full site with a more sophisticated interface. Could we be witnessing the birth of a new start-up?
By Alison Hillhouse, MTV Insights
Twitter is on trend with Millennials, particularly teenagers who are looking for a more coded, parent-free and conversational platform to chat & share pics.
Time spent on Twitter has climbed significantly in the past year amongst young Millennials aged 12-24: total minutes spent Tweeting on a PC/Mac are up +94% (Oct to Oct) and up 62% on mobile (ages 18-24; both app+mobile site).
Of course, Facebook is still the elephant in the room, or the mammoth we should say. Its 34.3M 12-24 year-old users dwarf Twitters’ 12.4M (on Mac/PC, Oct.) But the fact that Twitter is picking up steam is something to explore further. MTV Insights hears more & more teens across the country getting excited about Twitter, and here are a few of its advantages…
The age-old teen cry “get out of my room” has now translated to social media. While Millennials often have more peer-like relationships with parents, this doesn’t mean that they want parents involved in their online social life. A group of high school boys from Cincinnati revealed to us: “the good thing about Twitter is parents aren’t on it.”
The 144-character-limit to Tweets naturally gives rise to a more coded language amongst teens; one that not only parents have difficulty interpreting, but also friends who aren’t in on the joke/storyline. Teens frequently “subtweet,” or post coded/vague messages that only the right receiver will be able to interpret (messages that often give rise to intense speculation amongst classmates interested in that night’s drama…)
A subtweet might involve the phrase #oomf (one of my followers) which gives someone the opp to vaguely direct the tweet, e.g. “I like that #oomf said she was going to sleep but is still Tweeting.”
Teens love that Twitter gives them permission to share more “train-of-thought” commentary. Alise, a 17-year old from Chesapeake, VA says “I think Twitter is better because it’s updated in real time. I think Twitter is more of a “train of thought” site – people pretty much post anything they want from jokes to how they feel to what they did today.”
Alondra, a junior from Redford, MI explains “Twitter’s become very popular in my school. While on Twitter, they Tweet all day. You can mention things you’re doing every second of the day without posting it on Facebook and seeming annoying.”
Teens pretty much feel pressured to Facebook-friend their entire school… but Twitter is generally a more socially acceptable environment to be selective. Andy, a 16-year-old female from New Jersey explains: “Twitter is a good way to separate my acquaintances from my best friends. On Facebook, I have a bunch of people, most of which I don’t even talk to. On Twitter, I have people that I can’t go a day without talking to.”
While a lot of Twitter is all about interacting with friends, it’s equally as entertaining to follow celebs, news, sports and parody accounts. So to conclude, we’ll end with a few handles that our @MTVInsight teen panelists recommend:
· Bad Luck Brian: @UnluckyBrian
· Funny Facts: @FunnyFacts
· Aziz Ansari: @azizansari
· Bleacher Report: @BleacherReport
*Data source: ComScore
By Nick Shore
As the largest generation in American history, Millennials will no doubt create tidal waves of change in society for many years to come as they come of age and become consumers, producers, citizens and leaders.
Raised in more “democratic” households (“hey, what shall we have for dinner kids?”) by more non-hierarchical parents (“can I help you with your homework, son?”) they are opening systems, flattening hierarchies, and fostering collaboration at every turn…while at the same time looking at a pile of college debt, a tough mother of an economy and let’s not forget Hurricane Sandy. It’s a heady mix….
Here’s 5 predictions for 2013 from the @MTVInsight crystal Tumblr:
1) Smartphone, the movie!
– From Cinemagram
to Action Movie FX
, we’re seeing an increasing number of vehicles for Millennials to become mini-Spielbergs with just their mobile phones. We’ll see more “mobile phone productions” go center-stage, and maybe even the first mobile phone video creation made by Millennials will hit the big screen
2) Death to the Brainstorm, all hail the Hackathon – Schools, non-profits, businesses and even the government will begin to use hackathons as an approach to solving real-world challenges. …hack the lesson plan, hack the fund raiser, hack the bill…. Brainstorms just generate a bunch of “ideas”….Hackathons generate tangible, actionable solutions. People in boardrooms will stop saying “Hey, maybe we should brainstorm it…” and saying “Yes, let’s hack it!”
3) YouTube U– As “slashitude” becomes a way of life in the job-challenged economy (as in “I’m a graphic designer/ accountant/ DJ/ pastry chef”) we’re seeing Millennials pick up mad skills wherever they can. They’re busy supplementing formal education with peer-to-peer learning (e.g. Skillshare), entrepreneurial skills training at places like General Assembly, and taking MOOCs (massively open online courses) from institutions anywhere in the world. In 2013, we’ll see an influx of new online vehicles for collaborative learning, like peer-taught courses on YouTube
4) The post-apocalyptic product
– The showRevolution gave us a prescient peek into a world without power, Walking Dead showed us unshaven guys in suits wandering around empty cities, and then suddenly, there was Sandy! One of the most tweeted about pain points for Millennials was an inability to recharge iPhones. Much talk of products like the Biolite
stove that allows you to burn twigs and re-charge your iPhone with the energy generated. And a UVA sophmore is seeking a patent for Power Sole
, a shoe he hacked in his dorm room that generates enough power to recharge a phone from just walking around. 2013 may see a new market emerge in how to stay connected all day, even after the end of days.
5) First art in MOMA where the artist is “Everybody”
: We’ve seen the wisdom and power of the crowd leveraged to predict outcomes, inform, and ever more to create things…. from fashion design (e.g ModCloth
) to innovative household products (Quirky
). Millennials in particular intuitively know that no one is as smart or creative as everyone. In 2013, we’ll see a whole slew of crowdsourced “firsts” emerge, maybe including a work of art in MOMA where the name of the artist is “Everybody.”
Nick Shore is senior vice president, strategic consumer insights and research, MTV
Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/188975/wtf-whats-the-future-of-the-millennial-genera.html?edition=54354#ixzz2ElrCUZ7D
By Jillian Curran, MTV Insights
After spending countless hours on social media and talking to Millennials themselves, it’s impossible not to notice the rapid evolution of youth slang and how closely it is tied to the heartbeat of the generation. Here are a few emerging trends that speak to how they define what popular is today, living in the moment and their fratty sense of humor.
The Chill Hustle: We noticed two sets of words emerging simultaneously that describe the perfect combination of cool. One set comprised of words like, “chilla”, “chillax,” “straight chilla” and at the same time words like “hustle”, “on my grind”, “Boss” were popping. Put those two together and you get “the chill hustle”. These words describe someone who is motivated, successful, has their hands in a million things but can still have a good time. They make success look easy. For Millennials who thrive on being self-made, these words pop up in tweets and everyday speak to show how hard they are working and their jack-of-all-trades ambition. At the same time, they want to show they are cool, calm and collected and look damn good while their making moves. As one intern Jaclyn told us, “I have so much going on, but you always want to look chill. The worst thing in the world is to be called stressed!”
YOLO (you only live once) popularized by Drake’s song “The Motto” was a huge hit among Millennials. At first we saw people declaring this as their generational anthem, some tattooing it on their wrists or hashtagging it on every tweet; YOLO felt like it encapsulated Milennials’ care-free attitude and drive to live it up. But with anything, the oversaturation of YOLO has spurred an equally popular backlash. People have used YOLO to call out insignificant events or poke fun at people who are acting ridiculous. Either way, YOLO’s moment in time shows this generation’s desire to experience everything before age 30 and waste no time or opportunity.
Cool Story, Bro: We’ve seen a new kind of Frat Bro humor emerging, used to call out anyone that is acting dumb or foolish; mocking college frat culture. If past generation’s humor was more cynical or snarky, this generation is ruled by an undercutting wit, like a smart slap. Cool story, bro is a quick response to call out a friend and get the upper hand on the joke. “Cool story, bro. The best part was when you stopped talking”
Other variations of this lingo are:
o Soft : “Yo bro, You’re eating a pinkberry? Stop being so soft.”
o That’s so Frat: “Yo, is that dip spit on my sperries? #thatsofrat”
o She can get it: Guys have this faux-cockiness, so instead of saying “I’m into this chick”, it’s “Yo bro, Jenn can get it.” It’s like I’m so awesome, she can get with me!
In addition to some trends, here’s a quick list of random and awesomely funny youth speak. Who knows, some of these could show up in the next installment of Webster’s Dictionary.
- N.A.R.P (Not a Real Person): “Snooki is such a NARP”
- #Boom: Used after a good comment or joke, an extra exclamation. “ Making things happen today. #BOOM
- Wifed- Up: You’re guy friend hangs out with his lady too much. “ Kevin can’t hang out tonight, he’s wifed’ up”
- Getting Swole: For those who spend too much time in the gym. Short for swollen. “Yo Bro, you’re so swole!
- White Girl Wasted: For those who have a little too much to drink. “ Damn, I got so white girl wasted last night.”
- Selfie: Turn your camera around and take a pic, you got yourself a selfie. Some of our panelists have told us they will send selfies to their friends if they have nothing else to talk about.
- Mupload: Mobile Upload
Junene Taylor, MTV Inner Circle / Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Millennials like you and I have a bit of a problem on our hands. Because of our misfortune in having graduated during this economic climate, many of us are “on pause” from chasing the American Dream. Instead we are chilling in our parent’s basement waiting for our Dream to re-emerge and knock on the door. Preferably with pizza. But once we realize that this isn’t happening anytime soon, the ¼ life crisis can set in.
How do you know for sure that you’re caught in the vortex of a QLC? Here’s the checklist:
1. You repeatedly doodle on coasters “Why oh why didn’t I invent Pinterest?”
2. You change your major between 3 and 6 times.
3. You are jealous of how popular your cat is with all the other cats, and want her “social life”.
4. You spend a whole Wednesday creeping on the Facebook walls of a friend you haven’t seen since kindergarten.
5. You self-pierce your nose (on a whim).
6. You break out in a cold sweat every time you see the sweet girl with the 4.0 and Ryan Gosling look-alike boyfriend.
7. You genuinely wish you could participate in the Hunger Games.
8. You genuinely wish you were a vampire
From @MTVInsight’s study on Generation Innovation
Click on image for larger, high res version!
By Alison Hillhouse, MTV Insights
On October 26th, I witnessed something unusual in the streets of Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Mobs of teens & 20-somethings were wandering about clad in all-white from head-to-toe, donning accessories such as white sunglasses, white furry boots and white angel wings.
This was the pilgrimage to Sensation, an internationally renowned EDM (electronic dance music) festival making its first American appearance at Barclay’s Center. I interviewed several groups of Millennials who traveled from places as far and wide as Buffalo, Denver and Amsterdam to find out what was so special about this particular rave:
Millennials hunger to be a part of never seen before or again experiences… almost an antidote to a world that’s become so manufactured and where everyone has access to the same pieces of digital content. This was the very first time Sensation had travelled to the US, and young people wanted to be physically present at this once-in-a-lifetime event, which they could Tweet, FB and Instagram for friends who couldn’t make it (just check out the thousands of Instagram photos of Sensation Innerspace, many here)
2) Generational water cooler
Millennials are community-oriented, and crave a feeling of oneness and unity – so an EDM show has almost become a religious experience for this generation. Sensation particularly achieves this with its mandatory “all-white” rule, and a few Denver 20-somethings who made the pilgrimage to BK explained they liked the dress code because of the “sense of belonging” it fostered.
This crew also said they like how Sensation connects young people around the globe. “The whole world is connected, you can’t think locally anymore, you have to think globally” said Kan, 24. Al, 24 noted that these kinds of festivals feel right for his generation because they “transcend judgment and presumed stereotypes.”
Denver-ites: Linda, David, Al and Kan
In a world that’s trending towards post-consumerism, experience trumps physical things…. particularly the hyper-experience offered by EDM shows. Drugs are not required to feel transcended by the pulsating bass, multi-colored lights and fountains of fire & water spewing from the set of this $2.5M show. But it wouldn’t be an EDM show without Molly… as publicized on a young woman’s glasses below. And as I finished up my interviews and headed to the supermarket, I came across a pack of teens in all-white who were aggressively searching for the cough syrup aisle to concoct their own transcendental evening…
[Photo via @elisemami]
As the election draws to a close, @MTVInsights asked our college interns to tell the story of how their generation has engaged with this election over social media. Many have coined this the “first social election”… and for first time voters like our interns, they know nothing else. Millennials have been sharing witty memes and Tweefs (def: beefs in Twitter), as well as smartly utilizing online resources to fact check and discover their presidential soul mate.
Our interns Carly Ivrey and Hannah Nicklas share the most frequent kinds of political posts grazing the walls of their social media accounts…
1. Vote for Meme!
The presidential debates have allowed Millennials to go crazy creating GIFs and memes to express our opinions on politics. Even if a meme comes with a point of view, it’s usually more based on ribbing the subject’s reputation rather than policy, so supporters from both sides might be able to have a laugh.
During most of the debates, Millennials live Tweeted their opinions about what was happening on screen. They also poked fun at some of the crazier things politicians said by creating fake twitter accounts like @FiredBigBird and @RomneysBinders.
Instagram users got political by posting photos of things like their morning coffee in 7-Eleven’s “candidate cups,” their friends in politician costume masks, and images of their laptops as they watched a candidate’s speech
While many humorous political videos have been made by previous generations (and SNL shows little sign of slowing down), Millennials took it into their own hands to create something entertaining and kind of (but not really) informative. Some of our favorites:
· “Mitt Romney Style” (a parody of “Gangnam Style”)
· “99 Problems Explicit Political remix” (a mash-up of videos clips that produce President Obama’s take on Jay-Z’s hit) are a few examples of popular political viral videos.
· “Epic Rap Battles: Romney vs Obama” (Romney + Obama duke it out rap style)
5. “Dot Gov”
Sometimes we take a whole domain name to get a laugh, with these faux-sanctioned websites like RomneyTaxPlan.com and TextsfromMitt.com.
6. Finding a Presidential Soul Mate
On a serious note, quiz websites like ISideWith.com helped many Millennials, us included, to figure out which candidate really mirrored our opinions. These were a great stepping stone for us to learn more about the candidates, and with the sharing app, it was a great way to learn more about friends’ views too!
Fact-checking is extremely important to Millennials, since we were raised on Google. People posted tons of videos from FlackCheck.org showing what candidates said and revealing the truth behind their statements. Plus these videos run no longer than a minute, making them perfect for our ADD generation.
Romney vs. FactCheckers on Food Prices
Obama vs. FactCheckers on the Effects of the Obama Budget
Whatever our opinions may be, whatever our approach may be, we all used our technology-savvy skills to make sure we were heard leading up to the election. Plus, it gave us another reason to keep humming the tune of “Gangnam Style”.
Stephanie Monohan, MTV Insights
Photo courtesy of Virginia Newton (@va_newton)
Social media has been playing a crucial role in the way Millennials talk about politics for quite some time, and that has never been more apparent than during the current election season. Following the presidential debate in Denver on October 3, Twitter announced that there were more than 10 million Tweets that evening, making it the most tweeted-about event in U.S. politics.
(courtesy of http://blog.twitter.com/2012/10/dispatch-from-denver-debate.html)
I myself attended a small debate party, in which we played “debate bingo” as a way to keep track of what topics the candidates covered and to make listening carefully to minute details on economic policy more fun. However, Twitter dominated the attention and conversations of everyone in attendance, for multiple reasons.
Twitter provided an outlet for users to share their reactions to the debate instantly, while also checking out the reactions of their friends, comedians, political analysts and experts, and even major celebrities, all of whom live-tweeted the event. People could either publish their own thoughts or instead re-tweet statements that they find humorous or intelligent as a way to convey their opinions without getting too personally involved in the conversation. Twitter (along with other social media sites) was also utilized as a live fact-checker for those closely following the stats and policies that the candidates mentioned. Even @MTV teamed up with the non-partisan FlackCheck.org to help their followers fact-check the information put forth in the debate in real time.
(courtesy of https://twitter.com/MTV)
Ultimately, the activity of Twitter users during the Presidential debates further demonstrates the complex ways in which Millennials utilize social media in their personal and politically active lives. There were plenty of jokes thrown around (Various Big Bird accounts appeared almost immediately upon the controversial Muppet mention), but even those reveal how Millennials’ political awareness is shaped by technology and what people share with one another online. However, while humor appears to be primary lens through which Millennials understand and talk about politics (and the fewer characters the better), it is still evidence of strong investment in the national/international issues and political discourse.