The Internet is a dangerous place. When Millennials go online, they risk running into cyberbullies, identity thieves, trolls lurking in the comments sections... Even on social media sites, where they're surrounded by "friends," they can occasionally feel harassed. And for all the social aspects of being online, the web can be a little narcissistic. Some people only seem interested in tweeting about what they're doing and only want to hear opinions in line with their own.
With so much negativity online, it was only a matter of time before Millennials got fed up and found a more positive space to spend their time. They're not abandoning their usual online haunts, but when they get tired of the "me-centric" webiverse, they take a timeout to get a little dose of happy.
Pin Your Interests
Pinterest, for all its other possibilities, is a place where people can interact on a social level without the fear of flaming. They come together around a shared interest -- rather than self-interest -- so there's little to criticize or make fun of. As a Ypulse Youth Advisory Board member explained to us recently, "my friend tells me she surfs Pinterest when she's bored with Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, and seeking salvation from the self-involved." Millennials know when they've had enough negativity and need a break.
The desire for positivity extends beyond social media. Hello Giggles was designed as a destination for young women who are tired of the typical snarky girly sites. Its aim is to provide positive ideas and inspiration, and its no gossip rule reminds readers to be respectful of the community. For its fans, it's a place where they can just be themselves.
Then there are sites with the express goal of delivering a daily dose of good news. Positively positive is earning a following for just that. From inspirational quotes to stories of survival to advice for happy relationships, there's not a negative word on the site. As the site's more than 1.5 million Facebook fans might say, what's not to "like" about a little positivity in one's newsfeed.
That these sites are rapidly growing, not only in audience but also in number, is proof that Millennials are looking for a different online experience. They want a reprieve from the challenges and difficulties of their day-to-day lives in which they are constantly reminded that the economy stinks, their job prospects are dismal, and their futures uncertain.
For marketers, it's time to represent the new Millennial mindset. Instead of ads that poke fun, produce ads that inspire. Instead of pointing out one's shortcomings, demonstrate that anything is possible... with a little positivity.