It comes as no real surprise that today’s young adults have the are the most mobile device population. A new report from Flurry points out that 80 percent of Millennials own a smartphone. Generation Y is 20 percent more interested in photo, social, lifestyle and shopping apps than any other age category. And Millennials males in particular spend above 100 percent more time with their music and media than any other group.

Millennials Are Mobile 1 (1)What does all this data mean? Well for one thing, their phones are almost always on. From compulsive phone checking to selfie addiction, Generation Mobile seems to face new challenges while engaging with unprecedented technology.

Selfie: It’s Even a Word in the Dictionary

A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center declared that Millennials officially love selfie photos. Amongst young adults ages 18 to 33, 55 percent had posted a selfie online. On the other hand, Generation X (at 24 percent) and the Babay Boomers (at just 9 percent) don’t seem to share quite the same fascination.

Researcher Jennifer Ouellette believes that the obsession with selfies might represent a “natural human urge to claim a personal identity, rather than rampant narcissim.” Essentially, selfies have been taken throughout history with self portraits and busts dating back thousands of years. But in the quest to make sense of ourselves in the new millennium, there are some Millennials Are Mobile 3potential dangers to watch out for.

When Does It Become Dangerous?

Is it possible to take 200 pictures of yourself in one day? According to teen Danny Bowman photo addiction is a real problem. The British nineteen-year-old reports spending around 10 hours per day trying to take a flawless selfie.

After dropping out of school and attempting suicide, the “selfie addict” was finally treated for this serious problem. Danny explained, “I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realized I couldn’t I wanted to die. I lost my friends, my education, my health and almost my life.”

Fortunately, the Newcastle teenager was able to find help and has now gone seven months without taking a selfie. Danny’s psychiatrist says that this “is not some bizarre one-off case in a world where smartphone and social media obsession is spiraling upwards.” In fact, it appears that “addiction to taking selfies is becoming so widespread it is now recognized as a mental illness.”

Marketing to Millenials

As our psyches try to catch up with the mobile landscape, there are lots of questions to ask about what all of this data means. For starters, the research strongly suggests that Generation Y cares about entertainment on the go. Young adults are 75 percent more interested in their entertainment, including media and music as top priorities. From Vine’s videos to Spotify, mobile apps allow them to carry their favorite songs, videos and pictures wherever they go. The entertainment directed at Millennials is highly customizable with applications that allow you to create a personalized soundtrack to your life and other services like Instagram that help you post your life for everyone else to enjoy.

Similar apps like Facebook and Foursquare enable geo-tagging to help users report their location and create their own stories. And since this generation virtually lives on and through their smart devices, it seems natural that they will also want to buy their lattes, find a spot for lunch, track their workouts and even find medical advice with their phone.

Thrifty, and They Know It

Millennials Are Mobile 2Although many advertisers regard Millenials as “digital to the core,” some researchers and execs point out that “they’re also thrifty to the core. They have to be.” This explains why Netflix and Hulu are surging in popularity amongst an age of “cord-cutters.” Netflix and Hulu represent smart services which can be accessed with mobile and they help viewers watch only what they want, giving an individualized product for a better price.

Another important factor is their “love of niche culture,” writes Ad Week. “They’re not opposed to advertising, but they also love being obscure” and many “pride themselves on being outliers”

There’s also a preference for things which seem authentic and real. Millennials might not always ask, “How many middlemen am I greasing with this purchase?” But they do prefer to engage directly with a product or brand. This means that having a company app can help your company reach Generation Y personally.

A New Generation for New Technology

All these insights and numbers add up to some interesting perspectives on the Millennial generation. This knowledge about how young moderns tick can help companies develop innovative products tailored to Generation Y. And it can also show how to develop new strategies to reach Millennials.

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