All Articles Tagged "millennials"
Work, money and relationships are stressing out millennials so much that many of them are suffering from depression, according to a new study. While rates are falling for the rest of Americans, the Millennial generation, ages 18 to 33, are reporting more stress, depression and anxiety.
An online “Stress in America” survey of 2,020 U.S. adults 18 and older conducted in 2012 by Harris Interactive for American Psychological Association found that millennials are also more likely to be told by a health care provider they have depression or an anxiety disorder. In the survey, 39 percent of millennials said their stress level increased in the past year and 52 percent say stress has kept them awake at night in the past month. “On a 10-point scale, where 1 means ‘little or no stress’ and 10 means ‘a great deal of stress,’ the 2012 average is 4.9. But for millennials, it’s 5.4,” reports USA Today. Top stress sources for millennials are work (cited by 76 percent), money (73 percent) and relationships (59 percent), family responsibilities (56 percent) and the economy (55 percent).
“Millennials are growing up at a tough time. They were sheltered in many ways, with a lot of high expectations for what they should achieve. Individual failure is difficult to accept when confronted with a sense you’re an important person and expected to achieve,” Mike Hais of Arcadia, CA, a market researcher and co-author of two books on that generation, including 2011′s Millennial Momentum, told USA Today. “Even though, in most instances, it’s not their fault — the economy collapsed just as many of them were getting out of college and coming of age — that does lead to a greater sense of stress,” he says.
Depression has been diagnosed for 19 percent of millennials, compared with 14 percent of Generation X (ages 34 to 47); 12 percent of Baby Boomers (ages 48 to 66) and 11 percent of those ages 67 and older. Anxiety disorder has also been cited in millennials more than other generations, 12 percent, compared with eight percent of Gen X, seven percent of Boomers and four percent of seniors.
Millennials often try to cope with stress on their own, with more than a third saying they eat, play video games, or surf the Web. “But the most common coping mechanism is listening to music, cited by 59% of young adults; 51% exercise or walk, about the same as the national average (52%),” reports the newspaper.
Consumer insights firm Scarborough recently analyzed millennials to learn more about their attitudes, habits, and digital activities. One-fifth of the US adult population is between the ages of 18 and 29, and of millennials, 43 percent identify as a race or ethnicity other than white. This is a higher percentage than Gen X (38 percent) and Baby Boomers (26 percent).
Scarborough also found that 69 percent of millennials consider themselves to be very sociable, 34 percent said going online is one of their favorite things to do with their free time, and 33 percent said they are usually the first among their friends and colleagues to try new tech products.
When it comes to personal finance and spending, 59 percent of millennials consider themselves savers, rather than spenders. But 27 percent said if they really want something they can’t currently afford, they would use a credit card, rather than saving up money and buying it later. Hmm…
Nonetheless, a new international study from PR firm Edelman finds that what millennials want most for the holidays is economic stability, and about half of the respondents (48 percent) that they surveyed from 11 countries said a life goal is to open their own business.
A Viacom study released a few weeks ago had similar financial findings. Sixty-eight percent of the 15,000 people interviewed from 24 countries said they were affected by the global economic crisis. Financial Times, which reported on the study, says this generation (which they peg as ages nine through 30) is comprised of 2.5 billion people around the globe and has $990 billion in spending power in this country.
Are you a millennial? Does this data ring true for you?
It’s been 18 months since The Oprah Winfrey Show left the air. Ms. Winfrey has kept herself busy managing a magazine, an XM radio channel, a television channel, and an online presence that includes a content channel on The Huffington Post. Despite all of this, the New York Times recently questioned whether the era of Oprah has come to an end.
The absence of daily face time with her millions of fans has impacted Winfrey’s brand in ways even she didn’t anticipate. Her magazine and website experienced a decline in revenue and sales. Her television network’s rough start is well documented.
If anyone else’s name were attached to these projects they would still be deemed a success. But high expectations are a common side effect of greatness. Lady O doesn’t seem to be checking for her critics’ opinions anymore. Instead she is setting her sights on expanding her audience to include a younger demographic.
Can Oprah Be Hip?
Oprah is influential, but she stopped being cool in the 90s. The median age for an O magazine reader is 49. But Ms. Winfrey thinks she has something to offer younger generations. At her magazine’s annual conference, she said she would like to attract women “in their 30s or perhaps their 20s, to be able to reach people when they are looking to fulfill their destiny.” She added, “By the time you’re 40, 42, you should have kind of figured it out already.”
Oprah has made it clear that she won’t stray from her message of “living your best life.” Rightfully so, it is clearly her passion and has become a primary part of her brand along with interviewing the most noteworthy names in pop culture. Oprah seems to be hitting her stride in adapting the latter to new platforms. Appearances by gossip blog favorites Evelyn Lozada and Maia Campbell on self-help guru Iyanla Vanzant’s show, Fix My Life, hint that she is working out how to use one of her trademarks to boost the popularity of the other.
Spirituality For a New Age
Oprah was originally criticized for her New Age spirituality that didn’t identify with a set religion. But the inclusive nature of her faith is the perfect fit for younger audiences. A recent study found that 72 percent of millennials, the generation between 18 and 30 years old, say they are more spiritual than religious.
Despite not identifying with a religion, or maybe because of it, young people crave spiritual direction. Holistic lifestyle topics like wellness, spirituality, and healthy living are becoming increasingly mainstream. Oprah was already covering these topics on her show. She continues to use platforms like OWN to bring spiritual advisors of all kinds to a mass audience. Now is the perfect time for Winfrey to lead this conversation for a new generation.
An Army For Oprah
At 58, Oprah can’t speak the language of millennials, but she can empower people who do. I want Oprah to be satisfied with hanging out with Tyler Perry on the weekends and leave him out of her business. His 12-hour block on TBS is more than sufficient. OWN and her bevy of multimedia channels needs to empower a new generation of spiritual ambassadors that promote her message.
An army of young, diverse men and women empowering other young people to live their best life is a powerful image. In exchange for Oprah’s stamp of approval, this band of brand ambassadors will bring a much-needed hipness to the Oprah brand and bring fresh content and followings to her other platforms. This strategy is nothing new to Oprah. She’s producing most of daytime television (Dr. Phil, Rachel Ray, and Dr. Oz) using the same formula.
Taking shots at Oprah has become a popular pastime but it’s silly to bet against her at this stage in the game. Her public journey to reshape her career shows us all how success happens. Most of the time you’re not a hit straight out the gate. Greatness requires a never-ending process of trial and error that constantly reevaluates and recalibrates your efforts.
The woman credited with getting Middle America to vote for our nation’s first Black president does not have the option of sitting around twiddling her thumbs. It would be irresponsible for her and her influence to sit at home and count coins. Dreams are easier than ever to achieve, and we need someone to remind us of this. If anyone is up for the job, it’s Ms. Winfrey.
Paula Poindexter, a journalism school professor at The University of Texas at Austin College of Communication has a new book, Millennials, News, and Social Media: Is News Engagement a Thing of the Past?, that analyzes the relationship between millennials and the media. Her main finding: young people have little-to-no regard for the news. Specifically, they describe the media as “boring,” “biased,” and “garbage.” Dang!
Perhaps more importantly, her research shows that millennials don’t see the importance of being informed (though they are using their mobile devices to access news when they decide to check in).
“We can’t continue to ignore the problem. The older generation is dying out. Who will be the role model encouraging future generations to be informed?” Poindexter said in a press statement available on JimRomenesko.com, which is also collecting comments on this topic on its Facebook page.
Black millennials specifically have a negative view of the news media, and are “at least six times more likely than whites, Asians and Hispanics” to give it a failing “F” grade. She told the Maynard Institute, which is dedicated to improving diversity in newsrooms and news coverage, that young African Americans don’t think the media is concerned with reporting on their generation, and frequently depict them in a negative light.
For her book, Poindexter surveyed 1,000 adults over the age of 18. Eighteen percent were millennials, and she included participants between the ages of 13 and 17 in that group. The number of participants here seems a tad too small for us, but based on other media data we’ve looked at over the past months, it sounds pretty familiar. Diversity of all kinds needs to be enhanced across the media. Without a doubt, media organizations would see a marked improvement in the depth and breadth of their coverage if newsrooms were more reflective of the world we live in.
If you are a millennial looking for coverage geared to your generation, TechCrunch has been following the launch of #waywire, a new media platform launched and co-created by Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker (love him!) with financial backers like Oprah. That first link will take you to a video of the Mayor talking about the site.
-A Pew Research Center poll finds that while Americans think rich people are hardworking, they also think the rich are greedier and more dishonest than the average American. And, 58 percent think the rich don’t pay enough taxes. More than half (52 percent) of those who said they were upper middle class even said they don’t pay enough taxes. Finally, 63 percent said the GOP favors the rich, which might be a problem for Mitt Romney.
-Banks are firing low-ranking workers left and right because of federal rules passed last year that seek to weed out fraud. Banks will incur a $1 million per day fine for not adhering to the guidelines. But the guidelines are punishing workers who committed petty crimes, in some cases, decades prior. “Critics point out that big banks have insulated top executives from criminal accountability by signing multimillion-dollar federal settlements in which they admit no wrongdoing,” writes USA Today. An Iowa lawyer, Leonard Bates, also argues that the rules are coming down hard on minorities who “engaged in youthful crimes to meet their basic needs.”
“These guidelines are really meant for executives and people who can perpetuate widespread fraud,” he says.
-A PayScale study says that millennials prefer startups. Are you noticing this trend?
-Never letting a fundraising opportunity slip by, President Obama’s campaign is selling the button above for $5. They’re a response to Mitt Romney’s “joke” on Friday, in which he told a Michigan crowd that there’s no question where he’s from. (He and Ann Romney are from Michigan. President Obama was born in Hawaii. End of story.)
-Tropical storm Isaac is headed towards the Gulf Coast and gaining strength. It had been predicted that the storm would reach category one hurricane strength, but it could become even more severe. Residents of New Orleans and other threatened areas have begun evacuating, flights are being cancelled and states of emergency have been declared. Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall (also around this time in 2005) the Army Corps of Engineers has spent $15 billion to strengthen New Orleans’ barriers. Isaac interrupted the GOP Convention yesterday, but the event will resume today.
-Also resuming today, play at the U.S. Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens where the U.S. Open is taking place. I was there last night, so naturally, this had to be part of the Rundown. Yesterday’s action included a match between 16-year-old newcomer Victoria Duval, who lost her first-round match against three-time champ Kim Clijsters and Donald Young, who went down to number one Roger Federer. Duval is definitely one to watch. The Williams sisters will both be playing today. And ICYMI, here’s a rather strange story about the sisters and their rise to stardom from the New York Times Magazine on Sunday. Makes you want to go to the gym.
With more millennials entering the workforce, employers are adjusting company policies — from promotion procedures to work schedules — to accommodate the most talented of this demographic. However, the concessions are rankling older workers.
Millennials or Generation Y, defined as those born in the 1980s and 1990s, are an important workforce pipeline as baby boomers retire. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that millennials will make up 40 percent of the workforce by 2020. These workers are credited with being tech savvy, collaborative and willing to work long hours if the working conditions are right.
The perceived special treatment is rubbing some of the experienced workers the wrong way, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Just this week, The Washington Post published an opinion piece noting the bad rep that millennials have, but also pointing out the improvements that their presence could make. Americans work hundreds of hours more than workers in other developed countries. And for our hard work, we miss out on life.
Gen Y workers will live with parents, work odd jobs, and leave a position in pursuit of their “dream job,” that article says. Moreover, they’re aggressive, asking directly for what they want.
“Beyond that, Gen Y’s demands may eventually help bring about the family-friendly policies for which working mothers have been leading the fight,” the article says. “Now everybody wants to leave the office at 5:30. Because they’ve got band practice. Or dinner with their grandma. Or they need to walk their rescue puppy.”
The author, Emily Matchar, emphasizes that the things the younger generation of workers want are the same things that the older ones desire. So many the generation gap isn’t as wide as we thought.
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With the latest Census data showing Detroit’s overall population shrank by 25 percent in the last 10 years and national headlines that air out the city’s dirty laundry regarding crime, unemployment and economic instability, it’s safe to say that the Motor City has seen better days.
Luckily there’s a bright spot that shines in the midst of all the negativity surrounding the city: the rise of 20-something entrepreneurial types who have made it their mission to revive the city and restore it to its one-time standing as a destination for some of the brightest minds in the country.
Nailah Ellis, 24, is one to watch. After years of seeing friends and family members react positively to her great grandfather’s infamous homemade tea, her wheels started turning and she began to think about how she could leverage the family recipe and possibly turn it into something greater.
During the summer of 2008, when she was just 20 years old, Nailah launched Ellis Infinity, the holding company that would eventually spawn her first official product: Ellis Island Tea.
We caught up with Nailah to talk inspiration, convincing her father to give up the secret recipe and the challenges of running a small, but rapidly growing business.
For 20-somethings, being broke is nearly a fad. We trade war stories about our under-or-unemployed status, dream up creative ways to evade our astronomical student loan payments, and show little shame about moving back in with our parents after college graduation. But once that Twitter hashtag #TeamiPhone or #TeamDroid pops up on our respective timelines, we’re all taking sides and writing dissertations in 140 characters or less about why one is better than the other.
Because despite having one of the highest unemployment rates in the country right now, studies have shown that millennials are the fastest-growing segment of luxury goods and services purchasers.
MSN.com recently reported that “although some millennials – people between the ages of 18 and 34 — are launching promising careers, most are burdened with large student loans, and thousands are unemployed. Despite all this, they are making luxury purchases a priority.”
Jason Dorsey, a millennials expert and the chief strategy officer for The Center for Generational Kinetics told MSN that he believes social media is a driving force in getting young people to prioritize spending money on high-end items. In his opinion, we are buying things so that we can say we did on Twitter, Facebook, or some other social media site. That in turn makes others want to say they did as well. The constant stream of conversation works as a way to sort-of peer pressure virtual strangers into owning non-essentials like flat screens, iPads, luxury cars (along with luxury car notes) and Android cell phones.
There is nothing wrong with wanting nice things, but can we afford those things on top of necessities and debilitating debt from a degree that has yet to result in a real salary? For many, the answer is a resounding no. A survey by WSL/Strategic Retail found that nearly a quarter of millennials are unable to make ends meet. We’re creating lives for ourselves that we cannot afford.
The good news is, studies show that we are less likely to use a credit card to bridge the gap between the money we have and the money we need to buy something. We are charging less and therefore paying off our credit card debt at a faster rate than other age groups. Low bank balances have also morphed us into super frugal shoppers, always finding the lowest price.
The bad news is that even a $250 iPhone from Craigslist is still $250 for a phone.
Of course, a phone isn’t standing in the way of anyone wanting to reach total financial independence, but the mindset that goes into making these costly purchases can be problematic — especially if you’re making these purchases in lieu of saving and investing your money.
Many phone companies are touting $100 a month for a cell phone plan. That seems reasonable for “unlimited everything,” but still that’s $1200 dollars a year. I looked up some numbers on personal finance website, The Motley Fool and it turns out – If you invested that $1200 yearly at a 9 percent interest rate instead of handing it over to Verizon for the next decade, you’d have 22-thousand dollars in 10 years and a whopping 480-thousand dollars in 40 years. $208 a month is $2,500 a year and investing that at the same rate will net you a million dollars in 40 years.
Here’s the thing, in our 20’s, being broke is still something to joke about with friends; but there isn’t anything funny about working our entire lives and then joining the legions of senior citizens who can’t write a five thousand dollar check because we squandered what little disposable income we had while we were young.
Luxury items are great and quality of life is important, but I hope we are more #TeamInvestingInOurselves instead of just #TeamPaddingThePocketsOfThoseWhoAreInTheBusinessOfKeepingUsBroke.
Which side are you on?Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, Ohio. Follow her on Twitter: @AlissaInPink or check out her blog This Cannot Be My Life
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