The Freshman Year of Life.
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Everything around us that we call life was made up by people that are no smarter than you. And you can build your own things. You can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life. Don’t live one, build one.
Ashton Kutcher @ Teen Choice Awards 2013
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'I Forgot My Phone' is a short film that depicts the downsides of our society's smartphone addiction shown through the eyes of a women who discovers that smartphones are preventing everyone from living in the moment. 

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Joe Swanberg’s new romance, “Drinking Buddies,” reveals, among other things, that passive-aggression is nowadays less a personal trait than a cultural norm.

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A Quick Recap of The Facts

The word “Millennial” almost seems like a buzzword these days instead of a generational moniker. They’re all over the place, and you probably feel like you’ve heard all about Millennials by now. Barkley partnered with Boston Consulting Group and SMG to study the trends in a report called “American Millennials: Deciphering the Enigma Generation.” If you know many of the trends then this short video isn’t really that bitchin’ so skip it.

Myth #1: Millennials Are a Homogenous Cohort

Our research led us to break down the Millennial cohort into six segments.  The six segments include: Hip-ennial, Millennial Mom, Anti-Millennial, Gadget Guru, Clean and Green Millennial and Old School Millennial.

Myth #2: Millennials Aren’t Influencing Your Sales Growth Today

The Millennial generation is comprised of 80 million people in the United States alone. As such, Gen Y already accounts for 21 percent of consumer discretionary spending. In other words, Millennials are pumping $1.3 trillion into the economy, according to Christine Barton from the Boston Consulting Group. And that number doesn’t even include the influence Millennials have on other generations when it comes to their purchases from technology to travel to restaurants and more.

Myth #3: Millennials Will Be Just Like Older Generations Once They Get Married

Millennials are more comfortable than earlier generations with marriage being a bond between two people—any two people. The latest research from Pew Research shows that 70 percent of Millennial support same-sex marriage.

However, the cohort is waiting longer to get married. The average age for getting married is now 28.6 for men and 26.6 for women. Adding onto that, 44 percent of Millennials think marriage is obsolete.  Only 35 percent of Boomers feel the same way.

We can draw a couple of conclusions from all of this. First, don’t assume that Millennials are getting married anytime soon. Second, when you’re showing them couples and families in your marketing, keep in mind that Millennials are comfortable with a lot more permutations than advertising has traditionally shown.

Myth #4: Brick and Mortar Stores Are Dead

Do Millennials love technology? Of course. In fact, Millennials are more than 2.5 times more likely than other generations to be early adopters of new social, mobile and digital technologies. But do they want to do all of their shopping online or on their mobile phone? Not at all. According to research by the Urban Land Institute, 48 percent of Millennials say they enjoy shopping in stores. However, going forward it may be important to connect the digital and the physical worlds in order to draw in Millennials and keep them coming.

Myth #5: The Traditional Drivers Of Brand Value Hold True

Not at all.

Millennials created a Participation Economy. In the Participation Economy, the definition of brand value has expanded to include “participative benefits.” This means that Millennials want to co-create the products and services you sell, the customer journey and the marketing and social media.  Too many brands only focus on the marketing and social media.

Further, Millennials want to share with their friends, many of whom are online. One of the top ways to get a Millennial to share their brand with others is to make them feel good when they buy it. Two of the most likely ways to create shareworthiness are either to disrupt the status quo and or to have a purpose.  Millennials love brands whose purpose (or “why,” if you prefer) inspires them.  The next Billion Dollar idea is likely in the upper right quadrant of the graph below.

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In the middle of the last decade, the number of miles driven — both over all and per capita — began to drop, notes a report to be published on Tuesday by a nonprofit advocacy organization.

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Joel Stein’s already-much-derided Time cover story, “The ME ME ME Generation,” begins with an ostensibly self-aware but un-redeeming disclosure: “I am about to do what old people have done throughout history: call those younger than me lazy, entitled, selfish and shallow,” he writes. “But I have studies! I have statistics!” he adds, with exclamation marks that call to mind Tom Wolfe, whose own “The Me Decade” covered this magazine in 1976. Stein never approaches the insight or originality of the story to which his title alludes, opting instead for a limp bait-and-switch, which Time gives away on the cover: “Millenials are lazy, entitled narcissists who still live their their parents. Why they’ll save us all.”

 Instead of leaving it at that tweet-size oversimplification, Stein cherry-picks silly studies, throws in a personal essay, and arrives at the same oversimplification with bonus flabby optimism (paywalled). But first, he “proves” the first part of his point: “The incidence of narcissistic personality disorder is nearly three times as high for people in their 20s as for the generation that’s now 65 or older … They are fame-obsessed … And they are lazy” — insert percentages. Why?

They are the most threatening and exciting generation since the baby boomers brought about social revolution, not because they’re trying to take over the Establishment but because they’re growing up without one. The Industrial Revolution made individuals far more powerful—they could move to a city, start a business, read and form organizations. The information revolution has further empowered individuals by handing them the technology to compete against huge organizations: hackers vs. corporations, bloggers vs. newspapers, terrorists vs. nation-states, YouTube directors vs. studios, app-makers vs. entire industries. Millennials don’t need us. That’s why we’re scared of them.

The above section, too, echoes Wolfe, who, in taking on the “New Great Awakening,” wrote:

Wartime spending in the United States in the 1940s touched off a boom that has continued for more than 30 years. It has pumped money into every class level of the population on a scale without parallel in any country in history. […] Well, my God, the old utopian socialists of the nineteenth century—such as Saint-Simon, Owen, Fourier, and Marx—lived for the day of the liberated workingman. They foresaw a day when industrialism (Saint-Simon coined the word) would give the common man the things he needed in order to realize his potential as a human being: surplus (discretionary) income, political freedom, free time (leisure), and freedom from grinding drudgery.

Stein eventually goes on to implicate himself, undermining the initial argument:

It’s highly possible that I’m a particularly lame 41-year-old, but still, none of these traits are new to millennials; they’ve been around at least since the Reformation, when Martin Luther told Christians they didn’t need the church to talk to God, and became more pronounced at the end of the 18th century in the Romantic period, when artists stopped using their work to celebrate God and started using it to express themselves.

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Pipe-cleaner glasses paired with an American Girl doll bonnet only meant one thing in #1995…it was story time for Moe. #tbt @brookeypage  (at Childhood )

Pipe-cleaner glasses paired with an American Girl doll bonnet only meant one thing in #1995…it was story time for Moe. #tbt @brookeypage (at Childhood )

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I read the way you read when you’re young. I believed that everything had been written for me, the way I saw, felt, learned, was discovery all my own. I read for hours without rest.
Alexander Maksik, You Deserve Nothing