@MTVinsights: A Tumblr to Explain Internet Trends to Advertisers, in Terms We’ve Never Heard of

MTV Insights: YOLO, Slurpees, et. all (Tumblr.com)

MTV Insights: YOLO, Slurpees, et al. (Tumblr.com)

There are many ways young people connect through the Internet, as the Tumblr @MTVinsights can tell you. (Why the “at” sign? Who knows!) Mostly, the web and its coded parlance is the key into a secret world, one in which “hip young millenials” talk to each other, but also develop their “micro voice,” which–according to the MTV research team that runs the Tumblr for partners to  “see the world through young people’s eyes”–has the benefit of broadcasting on a ” particular ‘dog whistle’ frequency: inaudible to many, a clarion call to some.”

You getting nervous yet? Because it sounds like MTV has the next gen’s (generation’s) number, and is willing to give away trade its trade secrets to market researchers…and in typical “We don’t really know exactly how to use this technology” fashion, they’ve made this information public and free, so that anyone–partners or not!–can use this faux-research data to cater their product to budding hipsters.

So maybe it’s beside the point that half of the information on @MTVInsights is ludicrous. Here are some other things that MTVInsights claim are stuff that young people like these days:


1. “Adulting“: This is the new branding term for people or sites dedicated to exploring what its like to be in your 20s. (Hello, Thought Catalog reference!)

As we study this generation, we are seeing this constant need to know the “why” behind the “what.” As “natural researchers”, Millennials are always trying to decode issue and figure out a lifehack for it. It’s not surprising that they are collaborating and working out the rules of modern adulthood together in a funny and even self- deprecating way in these kind of forums. “This content is self-deprecating and honest, giving young people a platform to bitch, learn and figure it all out together.” Explains one of our panelists.

The big surprise here is that Girls is not mentioned once.

2. “FBO“: Facebook Official. It’s that thing between casual sexting and marriage, according the MTVInsights, which uses several sources (hello, Thought Catalog reference!) to come to the conclusion that confusing gender roles are the reason that “dating” is less common than “hooking up.”

As Maddy, 21 explains ““Relationships tend to either be married or hooking up. We don’t know what’s in-between.”

We see a lot of what we call “faux-stalgia” among young men & women for the dating rituals of their parents’ era… an era they never actually even experienced firsthand. One collegiate woman said, “Today, it’s not about a conversation at a party and then a date… it’s all about Facebook and texting and will he change our status to FBO. If it’s not FBO, it’s not real. Back in my parents’ day, it wasn’t like that.”

If you’re still confused, here’s a chart:
tumblr_inline_mgs4fuHVCM1rs9uv6

3. “Loopers“: No, not like the Joseph Gordon-Levitt time travel movie. Looping is the feedback loop of data that boosts our self-esteem. All those “likes,” RTs and positive comments on our various social networking sites that, if they should dry up, would lead all millenials to start cutting themselves or taking internships at Thought Catalog. Most of these happen anonymously now, thanks to an app called Lulu that is cited in the post, as well as anonymous Facebook “Like” pages.

With all the interest in soliciting “likes” & positive feedback across different platforms, we’ve also heard rumblings of annoyance that peers are so feedback obsessed. Some of this is reflected in snarky or fake posts seen on these sites. Regardless, we don’t see the “looping” trend reversing anytime soon.

4. “WTF?: (WHAT’S THE FUTURE) OF THE MILLENNIAL GENERATION?“: The question we’re all trying to answer, thanks to terrible upbringing by “non-hierarchal parenting,” “a tough mother of an economy” and “Hurricane Sandy.” How are we solving the problem of our future? With crowdsourcing apps, d’uh!

As “slashitude” becomes a way of life in the job-challenged economy (as in “I’m a graphic designer/ accountant/ DJ/ pastry chef”) we’re seeing Millennials pick up mad skills wherever they can… We’ve seen the wisdom and power of the crowd leveraged to predict outcomes, inform, and ever more to create things…. from fashion design (e.g ModCloth) to innovative household products (Quirky).

5. N.A.R.P, Getting Swole, Mupload, and “The chill hustle”: Stuff that millenials say to describe each other or what they are doing on the Internet.

For Millennials who thrive on being self-made, these words pop up in tweets and everyday speak to show how hard they are working and their jack-of-all-trades ambition. At the same time, they want to show they are cool, calm and collected and look damn good while their making moves. As one intern Jaclyn told us, “I have so much going on, but you always want to look chill. The worst thing in the world is to be called stressed!”

And yet with all this data marketing information, MTVInsights still can’t find a better term for twenty-somethings than Millenials? HASHTAG FAIL! (“FAIL” = “Failure.”)