Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Web Secret #240: the Millenials Next Door

I hang out with Millenials. I have no choice in the matter, all three of my kids are Millenials. This generation is typically defined as including teenagers and young adults who were born in the 1980s up to the year 2000. And I am here to tell you, they are not like you and me.

Exhibit A Snapchat - Thanksgiving - My twins are home from college and I notice that they are even more focused on their smartphones than usual. Amid giggles and snorts of laughter, they introduce me to a phone app called Snapchat. I'll let the New York Times explain: "Snapchat is a photo-sharing app that changes privacy norms in a very novel way. [Great, just what we needed - less privacy.] The free app allows users to send others photos and control how long receivers can see them. These photos last for up to 10 seconds, before they disappear forever."

By late October, TechCrunch was reporting that "users have shared over 1 billion photos (“snaps”)" and "users share over 20 million snaps every day, a figure he says keeps growing." So this app allows you take a photo, send it to your friends, they view it for a few seconds, and then "poof" it disappears. Get it? If you are over 29, maybe not.

Exhibit B Fab - Thanksgiving was a busy time. My 23 year old grabbed my iPad from me and told me "You need this." She then proceeded to download Fab, a mobile shopping app that has taken the world by storm. No question, Fab features some of the coolest stuff ever. Brilliantly curated jewelry, furniture, handbags, gadgets and more. My oldest child explained "it's like Pinterest, meets eBay, meets Etsy." This is because Fab allows you to instantly share the fact that you like a particular item with all your friends on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

I have a confession to make - I have never had the impulse to share my interest in various inanimate objects with a whole bunch of random acquaintances. In fact, I highly value my privacy. In addition, I found myself craving a Xanax within 10 minutes of trying to make sense of this haphazard, disorganized website/app. Check it out, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Exhibit C - Guess what my 18 year old daughter wants for her birthday? You would never guess. A record player much like the one I owned when I was 12 years old.It's cute and retro - no doubt about it. Thing is, I vividly remember the first time I ever heard music played on a compact disc. This was sometime in the 80s and I was blown away. The sound was clear, there was no static and the CD players were small. The overwhelming majority of us got rid of our heavy boxes of records, sold off our ginormous stereo systems, and never looked back.

I know, I don't get it either.

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