Millennials are not lazy, as some would have us believe.
Young people today aim to be superhumans. Alive to digital innovation and the explosion of a visual language, young people want to improve, and they want to do it quickly. Of the 2000 young people (16-24) who took part in Voxburner's Youth Trends 2017 survey, 45% consider themselves 'overachievers.'
Unlike previous generations of young people, youth is no time to be carefree; between messaging platforms, websites, streaming services, and the ability to learn and improve at any time, young people today are busier than ever. Here are some of the youth trends of the coming year.
Superhumans - Self-improvement is on the top of 16-24s' to-do list as they partake in activities that aid in a dedicated process of becoming the best version of themselves possible. From our survey of over 2,000 UK 16-24s, 45% agree they're an 'overachiever,' while 84% feel it important to continuously improve themselves and learn new skills.
"I don't see the point in doing or immersing myself in anything if it doesn't better me or make me happier. The only way in which we can prosper is by engaging our minds in new activity, it's crazy how much you can learn from even the people you surround yourself with."
– Halima Nabahan, 20, University of Sussex student
Pleasure Principles - How do UK 16-24s get their kicks? Are young people no longer partying the way previous generations at their ages did? Our survey revealed 79% of 16-24s prefer to stay in and binge series than go out clubbing. However their socialising habits aren't necessarily unsociable, they're simply veering into a new realm.
"It's a mistake to believe young people have forgotten how to party – their aspirational healthy ethos isn't 24/7, so while excess is out, indulgence is still in. They aren't rejecting intoxicants outright, but savvy brands will harness this with health-centric hedonism products and experiences, which safely but excitingly help young people walk the line between naughty and nice."
– Liz Cheesbrough, Associate Director at SCB Partners
Digital and Tech
Digital Innovations - As VR gains traction in a more mainstream medium amongst this market, find out what other tech innovations are resonating within the youth sphere. 34% of our survey respondent's favourite digital innovation of 2016 was VR, while the tech that they see winning 2017? VR again.
"Brands need to stop thinking of digital content simply as way to convey information or provide escapist entertainment. In 2017 and beyond, virtual reality will give young consumers new ways to explore the limits of their creativity, test their endurance or prove something about themselves. As a result, digital experiences will quickly come to carry a status-weight equal to real-world experiences, if not become more sought-after and prized."
– Victoria Loomes, Head of TW:Premium, TrendWatching
Digital Language - We've officially reached peak emoji. 92% of our respondents use emojis within messaging, while 60% use GIFs. In 2017, young people will begin to communicate in a variety of mediums that go beyond these means. Ensure you're fluent in the Digital Language trend.
"Visual Messaging expresses your words with much more feeling and emphasis and messages now feel empty without a little emoji on the end. Memes also grab attention and GIFs are quick, which furthers my point about ease and speed, it's all about what you can do and the quickest way you can do it."
– Saeed Atcha, 20, Founding CEO, Xplode Magazine
Single-Gender Content - The young content creators making the most noise in 2016 were the girls. Voxburner's survey found 69% of the girls would class themselves as feminists. As we reach peak youth feminism, learn how shifts in modern masculinity will inform future youth content strategies.
"A lot more online content engages with feminism as an issue. However you see hyper sensitive reactions to situations that are clearly not sexist. I think that good intentions can be warped by 'social justice warriors' who twist their views into acts of aggression which people can't respect (e.g Zara Joshi's reaction to Hugh Mungus). Feminism is about working towards equality and uniting, not dividing."
– Lian Brooks, 21, University of Bristol graduate
Simplified Content - No-fuss, minimal content is exactly what will be on 16-24s agenda for 2017. Our survey found, 'easy to navigate,' 'quick to load,' and 'creative,' were their top three most important qualities within a website. The Simplified Content trend frees up busy youth consumers' time to work on their superhuman status.
"Simplified content is so brilliant and popular amongst young generations because it's easily digested, and offers a moment of solitude from an otherwise busy stimulus of noise, image and thought. A quick swipe, glance, and it's over."
– Shanu Walpita, Freelance Trend Forecaster and Consultant
The full findings will be released at YMSLDN 2017, taking place at The Old Truman Brewery on 21st and 22nd March, where delegates will receive a free physical copy. PDFs will be available to purchase post event via the Voxburner website.