Viacom’s Christian Kurz presented YOUTH IN FLUX, the latest study from the Viacom Global Consumer Insights group, to industry professionals at MIPTV, a leading international TV industry event taking place in Cannes right now.
The research examined the new reality of youth around the world, their individual and collective goals, and the life strategies they use to survive and thrive in a difficult world.
After speaking with more than 7,000 individuals ranging from 16 to 24 years old across 14 countries, including Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore and the United States, the group released its findings about how youth see themselves in the world today. Here are some of their findings:
It’s not easy being young: An incredible 93 percent of youth aged 16 to 24 feel it’s hard to be young today.
What makes it so hard?
For one, only one-fifth (21 percent) of youth have no trouble blocking out bad news, and half (53 percent) say they have a love/hate relationship with social media. This means they understand social media doesn’t accurately reflect reality, but just can’t seem to quit.
Youth are uniquely themselves – and they love it: The vast majority (96 percent) of youth surveyed globally say feeling comfortable in their own skin is important, and most (95 percent) also believe in following their heart versus their head.
Youth are optimistic about a more inclusive future…but also realistic: Almost all (97 percent) of those surveyed are guided by the words, ‘live and let live.’
In fact, about two-thirds (63 percent) of those surveyed said they are inspired by people who are able to break free from outdated perceptions of gender, race, religion and demographics.
However, only a third of youth (36 percent) feel confident that this generation will actually be less judgmental than previous ones.
YOUTH IN FLUX also uncovered three life strategies – “Unapologetic, Sensitive, and Restless” – that 16- to 24-year-olds switch between fluidly according to contextual factors such as their mood, who they’re with, what they want to achieve, and more.
Young people today have “elastic hearts,” allowing them to bend, switch and “flux” between one life strategy and another.
Combined, these three life strategies form a system for youth who are coping with the struggles of daily life, with 90 percent saying they switch seamlessly from one life strategy to another. But the Global Consumer Insights team also found a variety of differences in beliefs based on which life strategy an individual leans on the most.
Unapologetic: For example, those who are primarily Unapologetic (focused on being unapologetically, authentically themselves) say they: embrace genuineness and do not want to pretend to be something they are not (84 percent); are proud of who they are and not afraid to express themselves (81 percent); and appreciate people who are not afraid to show their vulnerable and ugly side (77 percent).
Sensitive: On the other hand, those who are primarily Sensitive (focused on building meaningful relationships and finding intimacy with friends and family) say they: long for those days when people had more time to care for each other (80 percent); think it’s important to contribute something positive to the world (84 percent); and respect people who take a stand for others (84 percent).
Restless: Those who are primarily Restless (focused on working harder, trying harder, and being the first – the best – without wasting any time) say they: don’t want to waste any time in a world that has so much to offer, with so many possibilities (82 percent); are motivated by compliments to make the most of their lives (82 percent); and appreciate people who chase their dreams and who are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve them (88 percent).
Youth in Flux: Unapologetic. Sensitive. Restless. Watch below:
Interested in learning more about YOUTH IN FLUX? Head to Viacom Global Insights.