COMPANY CULTURE / JAN. 15, 2015
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Millennials value 'elationships' Just as Much as Face-to-Face Relationships

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Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all of the other online venues allow humanity to connect with other people from all over the globe without ever having to see them. And for the millennial generation this is just fine.

According to a new study entitled the "Cassandra Report" by Deep Focus, a marketing expertise firm, millennials value "elationships" just as much as face-to-face relationships. Report authors say this is positive news that millennials, an age demographic that is known for being tech-savvy, view relationships just as important as online friendships.

The study discovered that more than three-quarters (76 percent) have friends on social media sites that aren’t really their friends. However, less than one-third (32 percent) reported having a friend online that they never met in person.

Study authors purport that these types of results suggest that millennials understand the impact the Internet and digital age have had on their lives. For instance, 64 percent realize the importance of an online reputation and another 50 percent say they choose clothing each day based on what would look good on social media if a picture is shared.

"By embracing these ’elationships,’ young consumers are connecting with people on a global basis in ways that previous generations could only imagine. Consequently, they’re becoming a more empathetic demographic … contrary to popular belief," said Deep Focus CMO Jamie Gutfreund in an interview with the Washington Times. "For Gen Y, the physical world and the digital world are one and the same, creating a never-before-seen desire for digital intimacy." 

Although it ostensibly looks like millennials value the online world, an astounding 74 percent say travel is a life goal that many millennials have, which Gutfreund suggests companies should begin to take advantage of. "Employers looking to capitalize on Gen Y’s eagerness to cross borders should leverage word-of-mouth in other markets through these elationships." 

“This massive behavioral shift has resulted in a new era of digital engagement,” added Gutfreund. “Do not underestimate the significance of ‘elationships’ for young consumers.” 

Furthermore, the digital age is transforming the behaviors of so many millenials. One-quarter of millennials, for example, have utilized a physical fitness tracker in the past year, while 12 percent reported using a wearable tech device like Google Glass.

In the end, this trend may define this generation and change the landscape of so many industries.

Will Millennials Move Out of the Home? 

Indeed, millennials will become a huge consumer base and dominate the labor force within the next several years, but when will they shake off the image that they remain living in their parents’ basements?

Federal Reserve data highlighted that approximately one-third of millennials aged 18 to 31 are still living at home. However, it is being reported that a growing number of millennials are finally starting to move out on their own as the economic recovery somewhat improves, the number of employment opportunities increases and housing costs diminish - the ladder can certainly be debated, especially with these figures

This trend may be a good thing for this "lost generation," especially considering that they have delayed accumulating assets, getting married, having children and buying home.  

Daniel Franklin, executive editor of The Economist, avers that the economy is betting on richer millennials to return it back to prominence. Property developers are expecting more affluent millennials to buy homes, the workplace is slowly adapting to the habits of millennials and career experts think workdays will become shorter. 

Will millennials save the day or will the world have to wait for another generation to take the reins?

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