Google is Millennial Kids’ New Nanny
By Allison O’Keefe Wright
With two in three moms with a kid under the age of six in the workforce, this “takes a village” concept applies. Kids are being raised by grandparents, nannies, teachers, after-school coordinators, by coaches, et cetera. But beyond the day-to-day connections, Gen Zers are being raised by one million online voices because millennial parents are looking online to understand what they should do as parents.
Google is the new grandparent, the new neighbor, the new nanny. But what’s interesting is that beyond what they can get on Google, they’re connected to the things that they can find on social networks. They’re joining Facebook, for example, mom groups. The idea that one million voices is helping them be the best parent is a real thing.
Millennials have become professional parents. BabyCenter says that 41 percent of new moms read mommy blogs weekly. Millennial parents are uber sharers who share more on social than Millennials and they love Facebook.
Looking across our Gen Z and Millennial research, we see shifts to Instagram, to SnapChat, especially as you go down age ranges. But Millennial parents stay strong in their connection to Facebook because grandma and grandpa are there. They’re not just sharing with peers; they’re sharing with generations who need to see their perfect child.
If you look at their daily social behaviors, they over-index on everything from commenting on things, updating status with my opinion, sharing photos and videos, sharing something I found that someone else posted. And they’re much more likely to love Facebook than their peers because they’re moving into a life stage where they’ve been taught that life is designed to display.
Your child’s first day of school used to be about the day they went to school. Now you have to buy a sign; to tell us her teacher’s name; to tell us what she wants to be when she grows up. That costs money. You have to take a perfect picture and post it. Next year Facebook will show you last year’s photos, you’ll say you’re sad that she grew up. There’s whole stages designed around living life on display.
And while this is exciting, the downside of so many voices and so many displays of perfect parenting is that this generation of parents has unhealthy personal expectations, very competitive comparisons, and obsession over even the most minor aspects of life. With all of the information out there about what’s right and what’s wrong, they’re just not sure they’re doing it right. So it’s not surprising that one in two are overwhelmed by information, and are totally stressed.
Allison O’Keefe Wright is EVP, Managing Director of Research & Strategy of Open Mind Strategy. Allison is an expert in consumer culture and media. She has spent her career studying consumers and consulting major brands on strategy and positioning, product development, marketing and communication geared at various demographic groups and the illusive millennial target in particular.