Tag Archives: research

Why Millennials Have Trust Issues

Yesterday I read yet another article analyzing the actions and reactions of my generation, Millennials.

First and foremost, I’d like Regina George to speak to marketers and people of other generations on behalf of my people:
I mean we’re the most-studied generation. There have even been studies on that.
Anyway, here’s the inciting article: Why Millennials Don’t Trust Anything
Before even reading the article, I answered the headline’s implied question: Because we haven’t been given a really good reason why we should?
 
Let’s see:
  • Banks: Bunch of high-profile banking scandals blended thoroughly with a multitude of really terrible customer service experiences. Oh, and that little thing we’ll call the mortgage crisis of 2008.
  • Jobs: Our parents/we have seen too many cases where “loyal” people who gave their all to a company were summarily fired/had their benefits reduced. Doesn’t seem like the loyalty is reciprocated. Compound that with the many folk who are trained for a professional career but can’t find work in their area.
  • Owning a Home: It’s hard to own a home when you’re having job and money-related issues. And we’re prudent enough to be mistrustful in case we get trapped in the next wave of housing issues: no one wants to be “underwater.”
  • Marriage: It’s really expensive, everyone keeps telling us that we’re going to get divorced anyway (even though that statistic isn’t accurate), and we also want to feel “settled” as adults before we make a really adult financial decision.
  • Medical costs: They just suck. And all the very loud, loosely-fact-based political nonsense in the news doesn’t make anyone feel better.
  • The Environment: We’re still having fights about climate change. That’s just silly. Even if you “disagree” with the scientific fact about it, can’t we agree that it’s a good idea not to pollute?
  • Social Issues: A lot of young people (not all, I’ll say, with probability, but a lot) grew up with messages of acceptance and compassion for others (thanks, Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers!). Personally, I’ve been really disappointed in how this kind of stuff plays out in the real world, and how much intolerance there is, over really trivial crap. (I’m not even talking about Big Issues, necessarily. Even the level of “what game console do you play on?” can be fraught!) Plus there has been an awful lot of really bad stuff going on socio-politically around the world. I want to believe in Sesame Street‘s messages, but it sometimes feels like the world doesn’t want to agree with me.
So, this article in particular talks about “our” trust in blogs over traditional media. I’m a pretty big advocate for “traditional media,” having come from there education-wise. But it’s getting harder and harder to lobby on their side: I’m looking at you in particular, TV news.
That said, this is one thing I’ll disagree with: I trust traditional news sources for their veracity over blogs 95% of the time. Particularly on fact-related issues. I got in an argument with someone yesterday about a particular trendy news item, and posted a link to the New York Times. He posted back a link to an editorial on a website that sells crap…and called the NYTimes biased. Holy cow, that’s crazy.
I will say I go to blogs for more colorful types of reading, the types of things that used to be covered in the “Features” or “Lifestyles” sections of a newspaper. But sadly, that probably comes from a) the proliferation of those kinds of blogs and b) the fact that that department was the first to go when newspapers started getting budget cuts.
Do I think we’re “bashing tradition,” as the article says? Hell no. I think we’re just reacting in a very rational way.
What do you think? Is your generation maligned in articles? How?

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True Stories of Being Buried Alive

Snopes is definitely one of the best things to ever happen to the internet–maybe the world. The smart-but-snarky duo behind the website has saved me from many a well-intended grandparent spam message (“No, Grandpa, I don’t need to look under my car for someone who might slash my ankles…Snopes says it isn’t true. Ok, ok…I’ll check anyway. Love you too.”).

I didn’t realize it may also be such an incredible font for story ideas and research…until I found this article: Just Dying to Get Out
True stories of people who were buried alive.
If that doesn’t send a flutter through your belly, I don’t know what will. Maybe this:
“In the 1850s, a young girl visiting Edisto Island, South Carolina, died of diphtheria. She was quickly interred in a local family’s mausoleum because it was feared the disease might otherwise spread. When one of the family’s sons died in the Civil War, the tomb was opened to admit him. A tiny skeleton was found on the floor just behind the door.”
Or maybe this punishment for vestal virgins who were found to be unchaste in Roman days:
“…a narrow room is constructed, to which a descent is made by stairs; here they prepare a bed, and light a lamp, and leave a small quantity of victuals, such as bread and water, a pail of milk, and some oil; so that body which had been consecrated and devoted to the most sacred service of religion might not be said to perish by such a death as famine. The culprit herself is put in a litter, which they cover over, and tie her down with cords on it, so that nothing she utters may be heard. Then they take her to the Forum…when they come to the place of execution, the officers loose the cords, and then the high priest, lifting his hands to heaven, pronounces certain prayers to himself before the act; then he brings out the prisoner, being still covered, and placing her upon the steps that lead down to the cell, turns away his face…the stairs are drawn up after she has gone down, and a quantity of earth is heaped up over the entrance to the cell…”
Eeeep.
So now we know: Snopes is good for a whole lot more than just crazy urban legend-busting. It’s also good for giving yourself nightmares.

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