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Understanding The Internet And Its Young Majority

LMRM

Contributor
Nov 2, 2018
22
21
21
South Africa
Hello,

This article will aim to help anyone who doesn’t quite understand internet culture and how it drives millennial's and youths to such a great extent. This is merely my opinion and I welcome, with open arms, any criticisms.

Now lets begin.

Intro

The internet is, without a doubt, the most powerful form of information transmission in the world and with it, comes side effects and trends that no business can predict or even prepare for. That’s only if, you don’t understand the culture and closely observe it, for if you do that, you will be surprised at how predictable these outrageous trends can be and even be able to determine to an extent, when they will come about or how long they will last. What is internet culture? How does it drive millennial's and youths? What can a business do to capitalize on it without suffering massive backlash? All these questions will be answered in this article. Now lets dive in.

What Is Internet Culture?

This is the culture that has developed from the widespread use and reliance of the internet. Both publishers and viewers take part in it and can effect it in different ways. It is impossible for an individual or a group of people to control the culture of the internet at any time as it is extremely volatile. Around 93% of people aged 12 – 29 use the internet daily and these are the majority of the publishers and users who contribute to internet culture. Meme culture is an example of a sub culture born on the internet. It is mainly comprised of people posting humours images and videos on different topics. A lot of businesses don’t realise how strong of an advertising tool this is. Being active in the many sub-cultures of internet culture will help you to understand it much better then other peoples opinions or statistics.

The internet is the quickest and cheapest form of information travel. Its reach is almost unlimited.





How It Drives Millennial's And Youths

The internet is where a lot of these younger demographics spend most of their time. The internet has given both introverts and extroverts a platform for expression and thus they browse the internet for hours on end daily. Having easy access to friends, distant or close, information of the needs of the youth and thus the youth trusts sources and information on the internet to a great extent. Technology usage also plays a big part in how often youths use the internet. The more time you spend on technology the more likely you are to spend it on the internet. 97% – 98% of people aged 18 – 49 use the internet daily compared to 66% - 87% of people aged 50 on wards use the internet daily.

The internet is the most powerful influence on youth today that no other media or source could ever do.



What can a business do to capitalize on it without suffering massive backlash?

Many businesses make mistakes when they try to capitalize on the usefulness of internet culture. One thing that happens is businesses hop on a trend that has a clear monopoly. An example of this is in the gaming industry with the rise of the “battle royal” genre that games Player Unknown Battlegrounds by Bluehole, and Fortnite by Epic Games monopolized. These games became immensely popular through word of mouth spread onto the internet. Memes, forums, tweets and even complaints all helped to spread and ultimately lead to the success of these games. Now the problem is that other gaming companies saw the success of these two and thought it would be wise to also try and capitalize on the trend. Companies Activision, Xaviant, Hi – Rez Studios, NetEase, Define Human Studios, Scavengers Studios and Game Spire Ltd have all made battle royal games that pale in comparison to the success of Fortnite and PUBG, suffering both monetary losses and reputation related losses, often being labelled “cash grabbers” and “desperate”. A business will need to closely see how open a market created by internet culture and trends will be. A good indicator of this is how many and what criticisms there are. If a lot of people complain about the demographic of a product or how unoriginal it is, a similar product will not sway those who are already against the general idea and the demographic that is already hooked will rarely leave a product that they know for sure they desire. The risk when changing between products like these is a loss of time. Microsoft and Apple both beat out IBM not by creating similar products and following trends that IBM created but by both developing the Personal Computer in a completely direction thus giving them a monopoly on it. This took years to do but with internet trends it can happen in a matter of weeks.

Now how to spot and utilize a rising trend on the internet requires you to constantly be on it. Even if your on a different part of the spectrum, information travels fast and it will always reach your ears with little effort. Once again you need to pay attention to the opinions of the many on the internet as they will give the best indicator if something positive or negative will arise. Forums like Reddit, 9gag, Tumblr and others often help give a broader perspective of a growing trend. Once you have acquired enough information to assert that a growing trend is mostly positive, you will have to find a way to sell a product that uses this trend in a way that is only slightly unique. If you are the first to capitalize on the trend you will have to spend less time creating a unique product as it is the only product that utilizes this trend, otherwise the more unique the product is the better it will do against other competitors who try and compete with you. YOU MUST ABSOLUTELY PAY ATTENTION TO THE ATMOSPHERE OF YOUR PRODUCT, if people are constantly complain about the same problems you must fix it immediately, this is the fastest way that you will lose customers in this environment, not because of the problem but the time it takes to fix the problem. The best form of “Uniqueness” is the ability of your product to adapt as quickly as it can to the complaints that it gets, this will improve the longevity and overall reputation of both your product and your business as a hole. This will also help word of mouth to spread rapidly about how great both the service and product of your business is. Backlash on the internet can end both a product and the company that made it in a matter of weeks.

How you steal a trend and maintain both your reputation and product will provide profitability that the analogue world can never achieve.



Outro

I hope that this has been somewhat helpful to anyone who has taken time to view this article and I with you all wellness in your business endeavors.

Thank you for reading.

References

Teen Internet Use Graphic

U.S. internet reach by age group 2018 | Statistic
 

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The Abundant Man

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I remember reading in "The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter" by Dr. Meg Jay(Clinical Psychologist) on how damaging social media is to our youth psychologically. No bueno...
 

LMRM

Contributor
Nov 2, 2018
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21
21
South Africa
I remember reading in "The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter" by Dr. Meg Jay(Clinical Psychologist) on how damaging social media is to our youth psychologically. No bueno...
A young person will easily follow what their friends do, if most of their friends are online they will also be online using social media, social media is very convenient, youth are very inexperienced so they will not understand that convenience isn't always best and thus the youth will use it as much as possible. This creates a reliance on social media and internet usage for entertainment, information, socialization and finally acceptance. All the information that gets thrown at them, whether it is good or bad, they will look at. Insults on the internet hurt more than insults in real life because in real life only a few people witness the embarrassment but online, millions can and it will never go away. Adults do suffer from the pressures of social media but the youth mainly do.

The internet is young and so is this problem, time and effort is needed to combat it. But when something new comes along the internet and social media will be the least of the worlds problems.
 

GoGetter24

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"I am so disturbed by kids who spend all day playing video games. When I was a kid the sun rose, I was on my bike, and if my parents were lucky I was home before dark. People have chosen games where there’s a virtual ball rather than a real ball, and they prefer virtual games to real games because they’re easy." -- Larry Ellison, Tech Billionaire

So true. The easiest way to understand the youth is that they've been taught to be comfort maximizers. To those looking to exploit this market, be you a games maker, a professor or university administrator, a social media mogul, etc, the rule you have to follow is: "how can I best aid and encourage young people in staying useless pieces of shit?".

Or to the moral among us, that's dirty money, and I'd rather make it from progressive enterprise than regressive ones.
 

MJ DeMarco

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So true. The easiest way to understand the youth is that they've been taught to be comfort maximizers. To those looking to exploit this market, be you a games maker, a professor or university administrator, a social media mogul, etc, the rule you have to follow is: "how can I best aid and encourage young people in staying useless pieces of sh*t?".
Such a sad statement, not the statement itself, but the fact it is disturbingly true.
 

Danny Sullivan

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A young girl was working at our place not long ago. She's like 17 years old and was in vocational training. She never showed up on time. We start at 8.00... she showed up anywhere between 8.00 to 9.30 and was playing on her smartphone whenever she felt unwatched or took a break. As if she had no ambitions whatsoever...

She has been replaced by another girl, 19 years of age which shows similiar behaviour every now and then.

Im like 15 years older... how come this have changed that much in such a short amount of time? Just from beeing "online all the time"? So weird...
 

GoGetter24

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Such a sad statement, not the statement itself, but the fact it is disturbingly true.
Well at least there's men like us out there doing what we can do to resist and push back against their regime.

The real root issue is how to get at the parents. By the time most people read your books, or get exposure to other well-meaning works by other men, it's too late. They're reactively being taught by themselves once they realize they've been so profoundly lied to and left so useless, usually averaging mid twenties. If the parents simply don't care, what can be done?

In order to proactively avoid the damage, kids need to be exposed young somehow. And since the reason they don't is because they get handed in and controlled by the schooling regime from the age of 5, which gets a monopoly over their minds, the only logical philanthropic course of action which could have a tangible effect, is a direct assault against the schooling regime.
 

Tommo

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"I am so disturbed by kids who spend all day playing video games. When I was a kid the sun rose, I was on my bike, and if my parents were lucky I was home before dark. People have chosen games where there’s a virtual ball rather than a real ball, and they prefer virtual games to real games because they’re easy." -- Larry Ellison, Tech Billionaire

So true. The easiest way to understand the youth is that they've been taught to be comfort maximizers. To those looking to exploit this market, be you a games maker, a professor or university administrator, a social media mogul, etc, the rule you have to follow is: "how can I best aid and encourage young people in staying useless pieces of sh*t?".

Or to the moral among us, that's dirty money, and I'd rather make it from progressive enterprise than regressive ones.
We had a falling out a whole ago GoGetter24 however I take my hat off to you today. Very profound words my friend. Well said.Kudos.
 

GradyS

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Oct 16, 2018
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Im like 15 years older... how come this have changed that much in such a short amount of time? Just from beeing "online all the time"? So weird...
Had no idea this post would be so long.

TL;DR: People writing apps/games have become very good at tiny dopamine releases. We are all addicted to those tiny surges, and feel depressed when we don't have them.

Unfortunately, the youth of today are facing a terrible addiction. It's not marijuana, it's not dirty magazines on the playground, it's the dopamine rush. There has been study after study that shows game makers, social media apps, etc have done massive amounts of research into psychology to understand what gives people that tiny little pleasure rush. That's why if an instagram post doesn't get enough "likes" it can be depressing.

I'm a Star Trek nerd, and all I can think of is that we are turning into this:



Those in the gaming world will know what I'm talking about, but there is a big push to outlaw things called "Loot Boxes" in video games. Basically you "find" a loot box in a video game either by leveling up, or completing a mission and you randomly get one through a "drop." Collecting these boxes are completely free (outside of the cost of the game in the first place). However, they are locked. If you want to open them...you need a key. Guess what? You have to purchase keys with real money.

MOST of the time (not always, and there is a huge backlash when this isn't the case) all of the items included in the boxes are cosmetic only. They just make your character look slightly different (Everyone look at ME!!). That's it, no other benefits.

Kids are spending hundreds of dollars on these boxes/keys. Games with a trading community will trade keys (aka real dollars) straight up for the in game items they want. In Rocket League (a car + soccer game), there are cosmetic wheeles that have gone upwards of 300 keys. 1 key = $1.

Just go to Youtube and look up "Loot Box Opening" and you'll see vidoes of people sitting in front of their computer and just opening boxes. 50 boxes, 100 boxes, whatever.

Each box feels very much like a casino. The screen dims around the box, there is typically either some type of slot machine style of gifts rolling by, or a big explosion on the screen and then 5-6 items that are hidden. You have to click on each one, and then it is revealed. The more rare the item is (rarity in a digital game...) the bigger the reveal animation. Dose, dose, dose.

Then they get on their phones and play the next farmville game. The first 30 minutes of the game is nothing but upgrades, level up, extra stuff, etc. Dose, dose, dose. Then the game slows down. That thing you wanted to build? That will take 30 real life minutes of waiting.....or just pay us 0.99 and we'll let you get it now! It's just a dollar, why not? When you purchase in game currency (usually a picture of a pile of gold coins or money flowing out of a wheelbarrow), boom. Big explosion, dose dose dose.

No one is bored any more. Heaven forbid your kids not be busy with a summer camp every single week! What if they have nothing to do!

6 hour car ride to the beach? Thank goodness we have a van with bulit in DVD player and you can watch 3 movies instead of having to talk to your family.

I'm in my mid 30s, and when I started working in the slowlane (still in it, but trying to merge!) I had to fly a lot for my job. At this point blackberries had caught on a decent bit, but those were only for email. Not entertainment. Sitting in an airport, you would look around and see people either having a conversation or reading a book. On the plane I would always be sitting next to someone new, so I'd strike up a conversation. Everyone's got a story, everyone has a very specific path that led them to this point in life that they are sitting right next to me. Let's burn 4 hours and talk. Plus maybe you'll have a different point of view on something and we can have a meaningful conversation. Instead of just yelling at each other on a reddit thread because I live in a news bubble and only believe what I want to believe.

Now?

Sit in an airport. 98% of people (including children aged 3+) are staring at phones and tablets. Sitting in resturants, everyone is on their phone. Because why look around and have conversations, when you can check facebook and see who liked your last post? Or see the amazing pictures your friend posted instead of looking around the Charlotte NC airport?

I didn't mean for this post to be nearly this long, but this is something that I am so passionate about and bothers me so much. We are quickly becoming these from Wall-E:



I was born 60 years too late. I wish I didn't have a cell phone. I wish that when I went home at night, I was actually unplugged instead of getting emails and phone calls about work. I hate that my daughter (in kindergarten) had to do her nightly reading through an app on the computer or tablet. While she was small, we visited a daycare that had a friggin computer lab. We didn't choose that one by the way.

I mean I get it, technology is amazing and wonderful and connects the world and blah blah blah. But man it sure would be nice to be away from it. Can I get in the fastlane by preaching throwing your phone out the window??
 

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Xeon

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So true. The easiest way to understand the youth is that they've been taught to be comfort maximizers. To those looking to exploit this market, be you a games maker, a professor or university administrator, a social media mogul, etc, the rule you have to follow is: "how can I best aid and encourage young people in staying useless pieces of sh*t?".
This is Gold right there.
 

struka

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Had no idea this post would be so long.
I think you have nailed it with what you said and couldn't agree more. I am around same age as you and have a daughter in pre-k so I am starting to see the trend. As a parent, I want to teach her not to rely on technology (even though I'm an engineer and love technology) but see the world with her eyes and live it. However, it is so hard because they are fed the lie from every angle while you are seen as the bad parent from preventing that.

When we go to a restaurant with our toddler it is hard to keep her engaged at times without having a tantrum but she must learn. If she cries then I try to teach her that this type of behavior is not acceptable. The issue comes from the other patrons in the restaurant when they look at you with their "special" look of "contain your kid". Most of the people that give you bad looks are actually the older generation such as baby boomers. At that point we typically have a cartoon playing so we can finish up our meal and have other parents give us looks of "look at those parents feeding their child iPads at the dinner table".

To add to that, kids play around my neighborhood but yet you always see a post on Next Door by some old lady with "suspicious activity" or "watch your kids" or "skateboarders hoodlums". It's a two way street.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I'm a Star Trek nerd, and all I can think of is that we are turning into this:
That's a great episode. We're living it today.

Also, there are several Black Mirror episodes that are downright scary...

Ever hear 6 degrees from Kevin Bacon? Well in those Black Mirror episodes, we're only 1 degree away.
 

rogue synthetic

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Basically, I think the aliens don't blow themselves up; they just get addicted to computer games. They forget to send radio signals or colonize space because they're too busy with runaway consumerism and virtual-reality narcissism. They don't need Sentinels to enslave them in a Matrix; they do it to themselves, just as we are doing today.

The fundamental problem is that any evolved mind must pay attention to indirect cues of biological fitness, rather than tracking fitness itself. We don't seek reproductive success directly; we seek tasty foods that tended to promote survival and luscious mates who tended to produce bright, healthy babies. Modern results: fast food and pornography. Technology is fairly good at controlling external reality to promote our real biological fitness, but it's even better at delivering fake fitness — subjective cues of survival and reproduction, without the real-world effects. Fresh organic fruit juice costs so much more than nutrition-free soda. Having real friends is so much more effort than watching Friends on TV. Actually colonizing the galaxy would be so much harder than pretending to have done it when filming Star Wars or Serenity.
Edge.org
 

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