My Millennials are Fascinating to Watch

MillennialsI’m very lucky to have four millenials living in my home.  One is my daughter, age 13 and the other three are my husband’s kids ages 12, 14 and 16.  Watching this generation in action truly gives you a sense of their wants, needs and youthful behavior.  I have a 24/7 built in focus panel that amazes me every day.

But, there’s something that I’ve been meaning to discuss that doesn’t quite fit into the statistics that I see on the Web.  Now, I’m not claiming that my four millennials represent all millennials, but they are, at least, representative of their friends/peers.  So, that’s a fairly sizable research group.

Here’s what I’ve observed:

  • 12 is completely into video games
  • 13 loves MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, text messaging and occasionally checks up on me on Twitter
  • 14 really enjoys Flickr and YouTube and is an occasional “texter”
  • 16 loves Youtube

That’s the expected millennial, however, here’s what they’re doing that you don’t see on the Web stats.

  • We’ll skip 12, because he’s regardless of online or offline, he’s engrossed in video games
  • 13 loves magazines (CosmoGirl, Seventeen, Teen Vogue and People)
  • 14 loves magazines (same as above)
  • 16 loves magazines and decorates every inch of her walls with the posters and photos you get from J-14 and Twist Magazine.
  • All three girls comb through the pages looking for fashion, makeup and hairstyle tips.  They share ideas and magazines.  My daughter will not let me throw out any of her magazines!
  • None of the girls are printing out MySpace profile pages or blog posts to hang on their walls.

So, is print going away for the Millennial generation?  I know that the Christian Science Monitor just stopped printing its publication, which has been in existence for over 100 years.  According to an article in The New York Times, they’ve decided to focus on their Website.  If consumers (whether they are Millennials, X-Gen or Boomers) stop purchasing subscriptions or stop buying magazine at newsstands then print will go away.  If the consumers go away, then so do the advertisers.  However, I don’t see my Millennials stopping their offline behavior any time soon.  I also don’t see myself and my husband discontinuing our subscriptions to Asbury Park Press, Newark Star Ledger, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Wired, Art Review, PR Week, Inc., to name a few.

Social networking is the future. I think we’ve all come to the realization and the Millennials will be leading the way as our next generation leaders.  However, print may have its place for a while.  It’s hard to tell with a fickle Millennial generation just how things will continue or change at any given time.  It’s the consumer that drives the communication that they prefer.  But, as long as I keep seeing the magazines delivered to my home and the posters up on the walls then I think we have the best of both worlds (the old and the new media).

However, if you were to ask me my stance on being green and saving trees, well that’s a whole other issue for another blog post!