There is No Offline Anymore

Millennials, or Generation Z (call the young folk what you will), we are always being told are the online generation. Digitally native and incredibly social, yes they are, but what aspects of their lives are actually ‘offline?’ Very little it would appear.

The rise of the ‘cheeky Nandos’ epitomises this. While eating-out is widely considered an ‘offline’ activity, the level of tweets, snapchats and now, news articles indicate how offline activities are being absorbed by an ever connected generation.

Even the idols of young people are changing, with a shift to them admiring online personalities. Naturally they still show interest towards traditional celebrities, yet you only have to look at the huge fan bases of YouTube super users to see perceptions have changed. Young people are preferring to spend time with idols they can relate to, and who they can engage with directly.

Vlogging appears to be gaining continued traction due to its spontaneity, with vloggers themselves truly valuing their fans and the engagement they bring. By receiving on-the-spot feedback, vloggers can be agile and responsive to what engages their fans, knowing full well if they miss the mark, their subscribers will simply vote with their feet, or their fingers.

Alarm bells might not be ringing for many household brand names just yet, but young peoples’ habits and desires have changed forever. Take the recent finding that 78% of millennials are more inclined to spend money on an experience over something desirable. Brands are now faced with the challenge of creating experiences, as well as selling products. Personally I think this is an exciting shift in perspective, but one that means brands need to take a more holistic approach to how they view their role in society.

Uber have done this brilliantly. They have taken stock that they are not simply a 21st Century taxi company, instead they have identified the importance they play in getting people to and from experiences. Not to mention here is a brand that has capitalised upon the blurred lines of on and offline. Their holistic viewpoint is reiterated in their recent campaign ‘Uber Live’ showcasing them as part of a customer’s gig experience, be it getting to a gig or returning home after a meal with friends. Uber are proving that they are part of our social experiences.

The crux of it is the world we live in will continue to become more connected, and that for the next and younger generations the chances are everything they do will have a digital element to it. Even ‘twosies’ are being sent across social channels – for the record I’m not one of the distributors. I only hope that as we become more digitally connected we are able to remain connected as human beings, and not lose the desire to live for a moment. Sure it is important to capture a moment and share it, but sometimes we just need to savour an experience.

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