Today’s Millennial Pins: March 21, 2016

Good morning, it’s March 21, a Monday. Here are today’s pins.

location_pin_sphere_red Everyone this weekend was talking about the New York Times’ story on Mic, a workplace run by Millennials, a website about Millennials. The “treehouse story” garnered the most press, as it seemed to hit at why people deride the idea of (and the word) Millennial. The problem, though, is that the story really isn’t about Millennials as a generation. More on this today.

location_pin_sphere_red YouCaring is calling the Millennials the Cause Generation. They believe in things, the article states, and they do things about those beliefs. The article says that according to the 2015 Millennial Impact Report, 84 percent of Millennials made a charitable contribution in 2015. That’s slightly wrong – the 2015 report showed 2014 numbers. The point: Don’t just believe everything you read.

location_pin_sphere_red Cummins Allison suggests that grocers add coin-counting machines to their supermarkets to help attract Millennial shoppers. Why? According to the piece, Millennials are impulse shoppers and frequent the grocery to buy foods they can cook. Why not add machines that allow Millennials to convert coins to quick cash? And by putting machines in the lobby, you’re increasing the potential for Millennials to then walk into the store.

Not sure about this. Coin-counting machines have been in grocery stores for 20-25 years now, and are used by a variety of customers, but I rarely see Millennials using them. I’ve only used a coin-counting machine once in my adulthood. I would bet data on coin-counting machines backs this up.

Millennials are increasingly plastic consumers. Grocers should look at digital as the real battleground. Coin-counting machines won’t bring Millennials into stores.

location_pin_sphere_redHere’s a deep probe into one of the country’s most popular songs, “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots. Is this the Millennial anthem?

In the song, our singer wishes he could go back to when he was a kid, when he had hopes and dreams. Instead, here in the present, he needs to make money, he cares what people think, and he’s in debt.

Okay. So this, plus the Times story I’ll talk about later, cut to exactly why people loathe Millennials (funny enough both things reference living in treehouses). Twenty One Pilots is writing a pop song for the masses. It won’t inform, won’t educate, won’t shed illuminating light on the real struggles of a generation. Instead it plays as a whiny jeremiad. I’m broke, people want me to get a job, and I don’t like it.

The idea that not everyone achieves their dream is not new. It happens to every generation, and quite a lot of people in every generation. Twenty One Pilots seems to be saying that they were promised too much. Okay, understood. The American Dream is false.

But there’s nothing else going on in “Stressed Out.” The singer is stressed out. Does he work? Does he try? Is he attempting to achieve goals? The video shows no clues – the character (Blurryface) and his friend sit around drinking Capri Sun, play with big wheels around the neighborhood, and hang out at each other’s houses. Then there’s an odd piece at the end where members of the group’s family are shown, all dressed in black. Like we’re supposed to equate their struggle to death (and please, Twenty One Pilots is very successful), and that’s supposed to make us feel something for our protagonists.

“Stressed Out” is a convenient pop song designed to package an emotion into a mass population. You’d need to dig deeper to find a truer “Millennial anthem.” Still, the Atlantic felt the need to write 1,000 words on this song.

location_pin_sphere_red Finally this piece gets into the mind of an Early Millennial (born 1987) to understand how one is different from a Late Millennial (born 1990-2000).