To Understand Mass Media Means You Have to Understand the Audience…

Mass Media are an important part of our society. Yet, so often we focus on Media and we ignore Mass. To be a Mass Medium you have to reach more than one, two or three of your close friends and relatives. You have to know and understand who the Mass are and how are you going to reach them. The Medium is no longer the Message, but rather the Message is NOW, in fact, the most important part of the Media.

In order for you to understand the whole world of Mass Media, you need to start studying the Mass first. The Mass is defined in our work as the Audience. And what a better way to start understanding and knowing that Audience than by reading and learning about your generation (give or take two or three years).

The 20-Something generation was the cover story of The New York Times Sunday Magazine. You can access it here. Read it and be the first to comment on it by clicking the comment button below.

Class Note: This Friday we are going to have our first test. Be sure to bring your purple scantron and, by all means, BE there.


About Samir "Mr. Magazine™" Husni, Ph.D.

Samir Husni, aka Mr. Magazine™, is the founder and director of the Magazine Innovation Center at the University of Mississippi. He is also Professor and Hederman Lecturer of Journalism at the School of Journalism and New Media. Dr. Husni is the author of the annual Samir Husni's Guide to New Magazines, which is now in its 28th year. He is also the author of Launch Your Own Magazine: A Guide for Succeeding in Today's Marketplace published by Hamblett House, Inc. and Selling Content: The Step-by-Step Art of Packaging Your Own Magazine, published by Kendall Hunt, Magazine Publishing in the 21st Century, published by Kendall Hunt, and co-author of Design Your Own Magazine. He has presented seminars on trends in American magazines to the editorial, advertising and sales staff of the magazine groups of the Morris Communications Company, Hearst Corp., Hachette Filipacchi Magazines, Meredith Corp., Reader's Digest Magazine, ESPN the magazine, Sail Magazine, American Airlines Publishing, the National Geographic Society, the Swedish magazine group Bonnier, the Finnish magazine group Sanoma Magazines, Southern Progress magazines, New South Publishing, Inc., the Society of Professional Journalists, the American Society of Magazine Editors, Vance Publishing Corporation, the Florida Magazine Association, The Magazine Association of Georgia, the National Society of Black Journalists, the Japanese Magazine Publishers Association, and the American Press Institute. He is "the country's leading magazine expert," according to Forbes ASAP magazine, "the nation's leading authority on new magazines," according to min:media industry newsletter; and The Chicago Tribune dubbed him "the planet's leading expert on new magazines." Dr. Husni has been interviewed by major U.S. media on subjects related to the magazine industry. He has been profiled and is regularly quoted in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many other newspapers nationwide, as well as the major newsweeklies and a host of trade publications. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, CNNFN, PBS, and on numerous radio talk shows including National Public Radio's Morning and Weekend Editions. Dr. Husni has also served as an expert witness in several lawsuits involving major media corporations including Time Inc. and American Express Publishing among others. He has been a judge of The National Magazines Awards, The Evangelical Magazines Association, The City and Regional Magazines Association, and The Florida and Georgia Magazine Association Awards. Dr. Husni is the President and CEO of Magazine Consulting & Research, a firm specializing in new magazine launches, repositioning of established magazines, and packaging publications for better sales and presentations. Dr. Husni holds a doctorate in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master's degree in journalism from the University of North Texas. When he is not in his office reading magazines, Dr. Husni is at the newsstands buying magazines.
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47 Responses to To Understand Mass Media Means You Have to Understand the Audience…

  1. William Stokes says:

    Perhaps the lack of job security could be partially blamed on an ailing economy, but for the most part, I believe that young men and women have ceased to be disciplined; likewise, they have not been taught to be driven. In a generation of comfort, we seek to find what suits our needs the most, because that’s what we have become accustomed to. This can start as early as our adolescent and childhood years, but solidifies itself in the late teen years.

    Working as soon as you become of age used to be so understood that it went without saying, but now half of high school students have no part time job. For the half that do, a large portion quit on the first “bad day” at work. I am familiar with the remarkable employment turnaround in the restaurant industry. At age 18, I chose not to pursue college and worked full time as an assistant manager, training to take over my own store. Absence or tardiness to work shifts were commonplace, and constructive criticism was met with a “you don’t tell me what to do” attitude.

    A little more discipline and elbow grease in the home would do up and coming teenagers well in this pampered spit of land we call “America.” So goes the curse of residing in a nation of riches. When we grow accustomed to acquiring our means of living through grants, we think it something strange, as if science-fiction, to fathom the very idea of working for it.

  2. Anna Waggoner says:

    I think that the reason for the delay in reaching adulthood is due mainly to the messages society sends to the adolescents today. There are constant messages being sent encouraging the youth to explore what is best for them, and to do what ever makes them happy. This mindset leaves out the necessity of setting personal goals, which is why so many today take extended time reaching maturity. The focus shifts from wanting an accomplished life, to wanting an enjoyable life. Not that they can’t coexist, but I think that so many “20” agers today only focus on the latter, leaving them in a conflicting stage of both immaturity and a desire for exploration. Without developing maturely however, the “20”s cannot reach their expected stage of adulthood. And unfortunately, our world today encourages these crooked paths towards independence, leaving the youth with hopes of achieving a successful life, without having to work and mature into an adult. The “20” agers think that this life shouldn’t come from toiling, but should just be handed to them while they go on with their various activities of traveling and indulging in “self discovery.” And when these plans to not have plans fail, they end up in their late twenties, still missing the maturity of adulthood.

  3. Having experienced a 24 year old brother living at home with me the last 4 years I could relate and understand this article. I believe all the different reasons why the explained this is happening today are all somewhat very true. I feel as though congress making laws disabling a 18 year old, who by law has reached adulthood, from being able to do participate in various “adult activities” even though by law they are already adults. This makes an “adolescence” feel confused if they are in fact an adult or still in the in-between. This article is a great example of the points I am trying to make.

    “Our uncertainty about this question is reflected in our scattershot approach to markers of adulthood. People can vote at 18, but in some states they don’t age out of foster care until 21. They can join the military at 18, but they can’t drink until 21. They can drive at 16, but they can’t rent a car until 25 without some hefty surcharges. If they are full-time students, the Internal Revenue Service considers them dependents until 24; those without health insurance will soon be able to stay on their parents’ plans even if they’re not in school until age 26, or up to 30 in some states. Parents have no access to their child’s college records if the child is over 18, but parents’ income is taken into account when the child applies for financial aid up to age 24.”

    There should be a set age in the classification of turning from a child to an adult because it is apparent that many people are finding themselves not being able to evolve from the in-between stage of adolescence. I believe that my brother is not yet feeling an adult because he finds himself in one situation he feels he should react in a way a child would and then in another he may feel to respond as an adult due to the fact that there are so many rules allowing him to preform one adult act and hindering him from another.

  4. Ariel Ladner says:

    This article has so many distinct facts of what is going on in today’s society. Although, I can’t relate to all of what has been stated I can understand what is going on in society and the developmental issues of adolescent to adulthood. I am 18 years old and I had a rather difficult childhood and was forced to grow up quite a bit more rapidly then my classmates. At the age of 11 I had experienced tremendous loss, my older sister by 8 years died in a tragic car accident and that was the first time I had ever experienced an adult feeling. From that point forward it was no longer a question of when I was going to become an adult because that process had already began for me the day my sister died. Shortly after, my parents divorced and my mother began working an extra job on top of her teaching career to help support me. I then had to be the housekeeper at the age of 12, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. Then, the week before my junior year my father passed away. I believe the “growing up” process begins when teens and young adults begin to experience life’s trials and tribulations and instead of letting the experience define the person, they should take it all in stride and let that experience shape them for tomorrow. Parents shouldn’t shelter their children they should build them up and send them out and stop bottle feeding them. Society today gives our generation a bad name due to the fact that when people are living together and not married or are doing drugs or completing the milestone the article discusses, out of order, society turns it’s head as if these issues aren’t important. Wrong, these issues are vital because our generation with be the leaders in society later on.

  5. Andrew Dunham says:

    I believe that the notion of “emerging adulthood” is just another creation of society. Throughout history society has dictated how people live their, no matter how independent we think we are. For example, in the Ancient World, it was a common practice for a 35 year old man to marry a 14 year old girl. Is that common practice today; of course not. Their society dictated their actions, it does not mean that ancient Roman men developed slower and women extremely fast. In that society men were supposed to support the family with work and women were supposed to have children. Our society looks down on that way of thinking, but that was the way their society was run.

    Thus is true with is happening today, the concept of the “Five Mile Stones” is a very recent concept. Society as we know it came about in the 1920s, so the notion that the 20 something generation is some how screwing up the natural order of the way the world works, is rather ridiculous. Even as recent as the 2oth century children were in the work force and some never exceeded the 5th grade because society deemed it ok. Does this mean that those children were someone growing into adults a an exponential rate; of course not. Then society changed and thus no more children were allowed the work force. Thus is the same now.

    Society is changing, and now faster then ever due to our ability to gain mass media so easily. All over television we see shows and movies which portray people waiting to get married, to put our career in front of everything, to live with partners before we are married and we (being in this generation) have grow up with it. The media is changing society and our generation is following what society orders, as human beings have since their creation/evolution (which ever you prefer).

  6. Candace Coleman says:

    In agreement with Ms. Anna Waggoner, the blame for our slow maturing generation is in fact partially on the shoulders of the ones who have come before us. I’m sure each of us have experienced the lectures of grandparents, aunts and uncles on the “dog eat dog world”. We are constantly told to enjoy our teenage years because once we’ve entered adulthood there’s no turning back. Therefore, we have taken heed to this forewarning and basking in our childhood is our way of avoiding future stories of hardships. “When I was 23 I was married, had 2 kids, and 2 jobs.” The words of my grandmother explaining to me her settled lifestyle doesn’t spark an inspired nerve. However, it scares me into the belief that “The American Dream” can wait. Our generation’s lag is not due to laziness or lack of determination. Our generation merely takes caution steps into adulthood because we don’t want to experience the stresses that our elders once have.

  7. Caroline Hendershot says:

    It is evident that the youth in today’s society is seriously lacking anything close to or resembling responsibility. Take a look around, chances are the person next to you is equipped with the latest iphone or blackberry and wouldn’t be caught dead outside of their home without their designer clothing. Where did they get that, one might ask, the answer is simple: mommy and daddy. Our world today is mesmerized by the ideas of fame, fortune, and power. Society models itself after the celebrities that it idolizes, it wears the same clothes, it buys the same latest technology, and it generally models its own actions after theirs. So, when a child looks at their parent and demands the latest fashions and the nicest and newest things it is nothing less than basic instinct as a parent to try to give these things to their child. Now more than ever we see spoiled child after spoiled child that has no sense of responsibility what so ever and no understanding of the meaning of the word “work” walking around the streets acting like they “own” it. This generation has seen more money come and more money go than can possibly be fathomed. The up and coming adult generation has now lived to see one of the most thriving economies this country has ever seen as well as the worst one in the last eighty years.
    I believe that the lack of responsibility and fear of commitment seen by our generation is a direct result of the economy that we were raised in. Most of us were born in the late 80’s or early 90’s and the American economy was then at its finest. Most jobs were paying top dollar and therefore parents were able to spend more money on their children and finally give their children “what they never had”. The current generation has been spoiled and overindulged until now; now, most parents are no longer able to afford the biggest and the best for their children. The idea of actually having to work for things seems like a far fetched idea to many young adults today. The idea of supporting one’s self and committing to things can be scary, and today’s generation is clearly terrified of it.
    The number of unmarried, unemployed, and generally uncommitted young adults is on the rise. Responsibility and commitment are learned traits, and of course, our generation never had to learn it. Although, being “babied” may not seem to bad, when the time comes to “grow up” it only makes it that much harder to adjust to the newer and more mature situations one will be faced with. Hopefully, the current generation will step up and prove to the world that we do, in fact, know how to be productive and responsible contributors to the world.

  8. Emily Bain Manifold says:

    There is nothing we can blame the patterns of this generation on other than the simple evolution of society. This is not a “failure to launch;” this is simple change. America is known as the land of Freedom, Freedom to evolve into whatever the people choose. And right now the young people of America choose to get married later, the people chose to go back to school in their 30s and 40s, the people chose to live with unmarried partners, and people chose to live with their parents past the expected and accepted age. These 20-Somethings are the people who choose to do things their own way and choose what makes them happy right here, right now over long term fulfillment. These people are part of our Audience, and most of our future.

    The relationship between the mass (our audience) and the media never stops spinning round and round.
    Mass and Media have held hands through alll time, but unlike the 20-Somethings, Mass and Media are married to one another. Mass cannot go somewhere or do something without shooting Media a text to let him know when she will be home. And if Media cooks filets for dinner but Mass wanted Ribs then Mass will let Media know very quickly and Media will run to the Butcher Shop to buy Mass what she wants.
    As in any relationship the affiliates change and grow and this affect each one. Let’s keep it happy 🙂

  9. honeypoohgirl13 says:

    Well most people rather not grow up to fast or not at all. Most adults haven’t had a good child hood some had to work every since they can remember. When an adult that haven’t had the childhood they wanted they tend to grow up the slowest, to not move out from under their parents wing. They are still wanting their parents consent for everything and wanting them to tell them thats it okay to do this or do that. You do have some who was raised by a single parent just like me and had a struggling childhood and want to stay at home to feel safe from the world hardships. I don’t think that anyone should hide from what the world have to offer i think that they should go out and face it. It is okay to still call mom or dad so often to ask for advice or an opinion on something because they have been through it all and they pretty much know the world and all about life. Even in out generation now this is still going on its okay but im not saying stay home till u 35 now thats a no no, but if u still at home and u taking care of ur parents then that is okay because you are not depending on them anymore they are now depending on you.

  10. Olivia Rearick says:

    I agree completely with Caroline Hendershot. I agree that lack of responsibility mixed with economic changes are to blame for the delay in maturation. I also believe that it will be a hard lifestyle to change because it will take a different kind of motivation and determination. It will take ingenuity and strength to step out into the world today. Today’s generation is much more fast-paced, demanding, and hectic than previous generations. It is constantly advancing, and what lies ahead remains unknown. Everyday there is a new technological device on the market, a new machine to do your work, and new electronic product claiming to make your life simpler. The world is almost a giant, technological hurricane reeking havoc and threatening to knock you over. So taking those first steps in this “weather” or world and becoming self-sufficent is definitely intimidating.

    However, I disagree with the statement above that responsibility and commitment are learned traits. I believe that this generation has not had the chance to show how committed we can be because it has never been asked of us. But since it now comes down to facing the world, or becoming unemployed, the natural determination will come out in all of us. Once we dust of the perseverance that has been “in a box for a while” and endure the ups and downs of life whole-heartedly, we are sure to find success (and complete a few of those milestones along the way)!

  11. alexa Bafalis says:

    I agree with the article in most ways about how immature adults seem to be these days. They are old enough to vote for the president of the US, potentially changing the fate of our country, or even drink alcohol but lack responsibility to hold a steady job or relationship. It makes no sense to me that the society has changed that much and they are blaming the older generation for the things people are making happen in present time. I think that the way society has transformed has a lot to do with the lack of maturity adults tend to obtain in our current generation of adults. In that sense, I do not think it is fair to blame the parents for what essentially has been an outcome of our own fault together as a whole, of letting the society become what it is now. In our present society, the lack of face to face communication is colossal compared to what it used to be and so much has changed in general. With that said, our society has allowed things to get to the point where normal everyday things, such as going to the store to buy items or even ordering a pizza, has become as easy as a click of a button. There is no lesson of responsibility in that, in any way. It makes sense to me that a majority of people are in credit card debt because of the accessibility people now have to EVERYTHING. All they have to do it just swipe the card or type the numbers in online. There is no instant punishment and no sense of learning responsibility (right and wrong). It all comes later when the credit card bill comes in the mail and then the realization sets in. That is the time when immature and irresponsible adults go to people for help, aka their parents. The parents then feel the need to help their child out because they cannot just watch them drown in their own mistakes. I think that is where the parents fail in our society. They need to let the children fail in order to pick themselves back up and learn from their mistake(s). The article used many useful statistics to prove the argument which opened my eyes to new things on his stance about the subject.

  12. Justin Gibson says:

    I see the reason behind this to be that the parents have not let their children experience what the real world is like when they were young and so when the reality of it smacks them in the face they choose to go back to what they have known for their entire lives, i.e. mommy and daddy. Many parents will let their child move back in , I am not saying that they should kick them out into the cold, they should just make sure that they are actually looking for employment and not just bumming from them.
    They are not forcing their children to be responsible and take action in their own lives they have always been coddled and that is what the “20” ager is expecting their parents to contiue to do. Why work when someone else can pay for you to live? Eventually they will get out of the house but how long do they need to actually do it?

  13. Kiara Brown says:

    I feel as generations progress they are being more privileged then the generations before them. Mainly because most parents want there children to have more than what they had when they were younger. Well at least I know that’s how it is my my household. And also my mother would like for me to move back in with her after I graduate college so that I want have to struggle paying rent or a mortgage at such an early age. I disagree with that method because if I always depend on my mother I will never know how to stand on my own. Now when it comes to young adults being more and more immature I kinda think that we should look at how young and immature our movies are and celebrity are now a days. When that’s all you see, hear, and watch, then that’s all your gonna know or all your gonna wanna know.
    And maybe the reason (will Im pretty sure the reason) that most young adults are as lazy as they are because electronics are making life way more easier then it was 10 years ago. Also the reason why America is #1 in obesity (thought I’d throw that in there). I literally can sit in one seat and turn the TV, Radio, Lights, Fire place, alarm system all on or off with one remote. Responsibility and Hard work will soon be non existing.

  14. Angela Rogalski says:

    This was a very interesting article and I tend to agree with Mr. Arnett on certain aspects of his ’emerging adulthood’ theory. I, too, believe that it really doesn’t matter whether you reach this ‘critical’ point in your life at a certain age…or at any age, for that matter. I am a non-traditional student that has gone back to school after many years spent working jobs that really didn’t stimulate me too much mentally or financially. But I always had a dream in the back of my mind, since my late teens actually, of becoming a writer. I tried freelancing on my own, sort of a self-taught legacy of trial and error, before realizing that if I was going to get serious about this dream of mine, I better do it…get serious. I was in my forties when my ’emerging adulthood’ finally set in. I got married, had a baby, and went back to school. Guess you could say that I was one of those late-bloomers. But it wasn’t because I was trying to ‘find myself’. Unfortunately, I was simply too busy living life and just trying to stay afloat financially. I do think young adults in their twenties have a vortex of feelings and emotions to sort through in this day and age. And they are staying attached to parents a lot longer than maybe we used to. Whether that’s bad or good, I think, depends on the situation. And of course poses the question that while we parents have their best interests at heart, are we indeed simply becoming their enablers rather than their saftey nets with this attitude? Very, very interesting subject matter and article.

  15. Jean Phillips says:

    Slate recently published a response to this article; it was a panel of 20-somethings lead by the daughter of the author of this article. The whole subject is rather interesting, but I think that the reasoning is flawed. Society has, in general, become much too soft. My parents were born at a time when there wasn’t air conditioning, or TV’s, or even microwaves, let alone things like computers or cell phones. But now, if we have to go without these “necessities” for even a short period of time, we all become a pack of whiny brats. In short, we’ve all become spoiled and incapable of handling life’s hurdles.

    Transfer that train of thought to this article. I don’t know how generations past somehow managed to mature to adulthood without all of these special provisions that are now being considered for 20-somethings, but somehow they did. In my mind, parents that allow their children to suffer this crisis of the 20’s ought to do a little tough love. If the people in our generation were not coddled as they are, and they didn’t have as much parental support and knew that they needed to get out in the world and make a living, perhaps they would toughen up a bit and “find themselves” a lot quicker. I know so many people who want everything from the world, all the money and coolest gadgets and newest clothes, but they don’t want to work a minute for it. They just want someone to give it to them, as though they were entitled, and their parents are enabling them.

    But, that’s just my opinion, and I realize that this is not a discussion which Dr. Husni was trying to spark in posting this article. He was merely trying to help us understand our peer group, or audience if you will, and this is a very accurate portrayal of the state of our generation. Even though it appears that most of us who have replied to this posting were put-off by the description, we all agreed that it was a sound description of our age-cohort.

  16. Quanterrius Ward says:

    To find the source of the meandering attitude of today’s youth, one only needs to look at two sources. The first is Hollywood, a collection of preening elitists that has forgotten its audience and what its audience wants. Instead, Hollywood tells the audience what Hollywood wants the audience to hear, and through witty sarcasm and postmodern satire, Hollywood has gradually led society on the path of cynicism, “an easy way to relate to people, and a cheap way to seem intellectual.” Further, Hollywood compounds its cynical messages with encouragements to hedonism. Since the world is such a decadent place, why waste time resisting your urges? Be a rebel and just do whatever feels good. Funnily enough, this line of thinking has become the norm, so by being a rebel, one is actually conforming.

    While Hollywood has always been known for its strange way of thinking, the second source of this current culture is shockingly the media. The people who are supposed to be the eyes and ears of the world, especially the young people, are responsible for its growing ignorance. The mainstream media outlets are so grossly biased, and true objective information is becoming increasingly harder to find. Thus we have young people making more and more poor decisions.

    I’m afraid I’ll have to disagree with the 20-Something article’s theme of the youth issue as psychological. I see it as cultural, and unlike brain patterns, culture can be changed.

  17. Each generation has new available technologies, and health care; meaning longer life-spans. Longer life-span means a longer period of the “I’ll settle down when I’m older” mentality. Although there may be nothing new under the sun we still find something new within our own species all the time. Has there ever been a time where a scientist has said, “I believe I know all there is to know about humanity?” No. Well, maybe, but he was probably proven wrong quickly.

    It’s so strange to hear an older person say they understand what you’re going through. But they’re wrong. They understand being a 20 to 30 year old, but they don’t understand being a 20 to 30 year old in the year 2010. Older generations can sneer and look down upon us, but in the end it is their fault. They’re they ones who grew up and went against THEIR parents wishes and went into designing computers, and cellular phones, rather than getting a respectable job. Nowadays, our 20 somethings are going through the same thing; we have so much new technology, and with that completely different job opportunities. Only thing is, we’re too lazy abusing that technology to get a job in it’s field. So we sit at home with mom and dad, playing on an iPhone, while waiting to receive a call from a local law firm, doctors office, or even Urban Outfitters.

    What is it that causes our generation being so lazy, and/or dependent? Is it the economy? The job market? Is it some strange developmental stage that everyone goes through? I dunno. But as the article said, we are at that age where we are most hopeful about the future. Right now we understand ourselves (sort of). That’s all that matters. Psychologists, teachers, and parents will always look at us and say, “I get you,” and that is partially true. Full truth (in my opinion) is that we do have a slight understanding of our own generation, but we are so occupied with pleasing the older generations (or proving them wrong) that we don’t take a good look at who we are, and why we are so different.

    The advances our world has made in recognizing this age group in the past 40 years is great, but could also be hindering to our growth as well. These studies might give us the chance to use our age as an excuse, and thus we won’t have as high of expectations in ourselves, or our children.

    Thankfully, every generation will have the try hards, and those who want to either prove their parents wrong, or want to fill their parents shoes. Personally, I think we need to try to achieve the big goals, because despite our age we are still capable of running this world. If we don’t do big things, we’ll grow up and yell at our kids for not doing big things. Don’t use the statistics as a way to label your slow start into adult hood, try to prove them wrong. We’re human beings, theirs a reason we are the dominant species, we are extremely capable, and well equipped.

    Like the Apostle Paul said in the book of Timothy, don’t let people look down on you because of your age.

  18. Sidney Williams says:

    I, like others who have posted, have seen what it is like to have an older sibling “failing to launch.” My brother remains under my parents’ roof at the age of 24. I don’t feel, however, that he is failing to accomplish his “5 milestones” or in lack of “emerging” into the person he needs to be to quality as an “adult” simply because “adulthood” is so much more than qualifications or standards set by society. 20-somethings, like my brother, can be very successful without having first been married or in possession of a collegiate education. (I curse that he will make more than I will when I’m the “smart” one who went to a 4-year university!) Times have changed and continue to do so. Maybe the goals and expectations of yesterday aren’t necessarily the best choices for tomorrow or the present. Granted, responsibility is a huge deal and each and every one of us need to accept a little more of it, I think that growing at a gradual pace is perfectly acceptable as long as we are, in fact, “growing.”

    As stated in the article, either way one looks at it, 20-somethings are in quite the pickle. There aren’t necessarily enough adequate jobs for all of us, but no one is demanding a universal “emergence” to adulthood. People will work at their own pace, 20-somethings will eventually turn into 30-somethings, responsibilities will either be taken place or parents will die in hopes of supporting their children through their mid-life crisis, and the world (as well as the national deficit) will continue to get worse before getting better. Let’s just hope this is one of those circumstances where “you have to make a mess before you can clean it up.”

  19. Caroline Talamo says:

    Because of this troubled economy it is hard to find a job anywhere. Parents expect their children to take on responsibility and go out into the real world and find a job no matter how old they are (16-20’s). It is now harder to start adulthood and a new independent life after college because of this economy. Many young adults have been moving back in with their parents because of it and it is taking them back into their younger days when they weren’t adults making them lazy and lack in responsibility leading them to not grow up.

  20. Brittany Stubbs says:

    I have to admit, the title of this article alone reminded me of what my dad told me the day I graduated high school. He whispered “Kid, you stay in school as long as you can; college for four years at least, and then go to grad school, because as long as you’re in school, you don’t have to grow up.” He explained, that the moment I am out of school, I will be on my own, paying my bills, finding jobs, getting fired from jobs etc. “you have the rest of your life to do all the dirty work” he believes. So maybe people with the same views as my dad is who this article is fighting against, or even blaming.
    It states the “traditional cycle” (going to school, getting a job, getting married etc.) has gone off course all of a sudden. To me, this is common sense why our generation is the one to do so being that we have more opportunity to go to school longer, or “run away from commitment”, than our parents or grandparents did. It wasn’t a MUST to attend college 50 years ago, but now a days, the only question about college for most eighteen year olds is “which one are you going to?”
    Then the article goes on to state that we’re “changing the timetable of adulthood” as to when we settle in a job and mainly when we settle with a person. I can’t help but wonder if the media of Television shows and movies has helped make the unstable life look appealing. Young women watch shows like Sex in the City where we see characters almost in their forties running around, living this fun and single life in New York and we think “hmm that wouldn’t be so bad! I don’t have to find Mr. Right, I could just live like that for a while.” Or the movies about men and women who sacrifice anything to get the most out of life even if that means backpacking the world searching for these crazy experiences. The point of my argument is, the media has changed, so the audiences have to.

  21. Matt Sigler says:

    One cannot truly live life to the fullest without first knowing who they are themselves inside and out, thus making the “emerging adulthood” period a crucial and integral part in the lives of many. This sort of “limbo” period where many believe 20 somethings are simply failing is indeed not a time in which they are falling off, but a time in which they are grabbing life by the horns and running with it. 20 somethings in my opinion need to be “out there”. They need to get their face and name out in the real world and stop hiding under mom and dad’s wing.

    To counter that argument however one could simply say, “They will never grow up if you just let them run free forever without forcing them to make some permanent decisions.”. As a matter of fact that is true. Decisions must be made but these decisions must be made at the right time or that person can dig themselves a hole early on in life that they cannot climb out of. In my opinion if you let the 20 somethings get out and find what they are truly passionate about, they will pursue it and this initiative to pursue their life dreams will give them the kickstart they need to become independent people.

  22. Nelson Duke says:

    I think the main reasons for 20-year-olds not moving out and not getting be financially independent is the economy and the kids being spoiled. The economy is in one of the worst shapes it has ever been so it has been difficult for anyone, especially one so young and trying to get a new job with little experience.

    My other reason would be there parents spoil their kids at an early age and this is instilled in the kids’ minds that they can just live off their parents for the rest of their lives. If they’ve been given everything they’ve asked for since they were little, why should they leave that lifestyle and try and make it on their own?

  23. Bracey Harris says:

    The first part of the article “What Is It About 20-Somethings?” calls into mind the book Eat, Pray, Love. In the book the author Elizabeth Gilbert mentions how in the country of Italy it’s perfectly acceptable for a man in his 30s to live at home with his family and have his mother cook and clean for him. However, in America this represents a stunt in growth. Why is that? Our family units would probably be much closer if we embraced rather than shunned this concept.

    Now to address one topic of the NY Times article. What’s wrong with enjoying youth for as long as we can? I think our generation is so caught up in the fear of not having a job that we tend to over exert ourselves in preparing for the future. This obviously can have detrimental effects. Our generation is the first in many years to choose careers based on practicality not what we want. For instance I was discussing with a church member my desire at one point to be a lawyer. He informed me how the recession had forced him to go into the field of being paralegal as he was laid off from his career at The Clarion Ledger due to budget cuts. I actually found myself when considering a major wondering if History would be a so called ‘livable” degree.

    Sometimes we are referred to as the “T-ball generation,” because people believe we are not competitive enough, and that we’re afraid of confrontation. Those that exert these claims probably haven’t been to a debate tournament, sports event, or even our own Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College in many years. A teacher informed me once that the recent rash of student v. school district lawsuits in Mississippi over the issue of sexual orientation discrimination was due to the students’ sense of entitlement “It’s all about getting your own way..not pushing for civil rights,” she stated. I’m interested in seeing how are generation will face the notions that our elders have of us. Even though we have been born thus far into one of the most progressive eras in American history it seems that we are more scrutinized than those before us. Perhaps this is due to the worry that the future is indeed in our hands. And with our times so uncertain it’s only natural to have a sense of fear. I hope that my generation can prove people wrong, and show that we can indeed face the future. I know got a bit off topic here, but I felt really passionate about the first paragraphs of the article.

  24. Lorraine York says:

    Although humans’ brains are not fully developed until the mid-twenties, I see no reason to create a new label for the life stage of twenty-somethings. Our world, and specifically, nation, is going through a period of drastic change, with the introduction and booming popularity of Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, Wikipedia, and just about every convenience now on the internet. Twenty year olds have a different state of mind now than they did forty years ago. Depending on the individual’s economic and family background, he or she may realize the need to get a job, become financially independent, and settle down, although also filled with distractions that were not plaguing their parents at the same age. The attention spans of our entire culture, especially in this particular age group, are becoming shorter and shorter. We cannot go five minutes without receiving a text, email, or Facebook message on our smart phones. Twenty somethings may have a goal in mind for their futures, but they are not acting with the same amount of urgency, since their minds are not completely focused in the world, but partially lost in the cyber-world. It is our culture that is shaping the minds and behaviors of 20 something’s, not the natural development of their brains.

  25. Madison Hill says:

    In this generation, pursuing careers is the norm. That, in combination with the fact that we are living in an information-driven generation often leads to severe over-analyzation. Back before terms such as “adolescence” and “emerging adulthood” existed, young people acquired these “milestones” in an orderly and convenient fashion. Today however, toddlers are treated as infants, preteens are treated as toddlers, teenagers are treated as preteens, and finally, “emerging adults” are beginning to be treated as teenagers whom, may I remind you, are parent- and financially-dependant. The result of these integers of ages being treated as the stretch before them is rebellion to the norm. If any person, especially a “20-something” and so-called emerging adult weren’t sectioned off and labeled in the way that society has done, they wouldn’t feel the overwhelming need to break away from the zoo that society traps and “protects” them in. The goal of acquiring “milestones” fades away as the desire for independence, the urgency to be unique, and the sense of freedom that recklessness simulates becomes the shining beacon of accomplishment. We have dug ourselves into a hole where we turn our heads from the fact that terms such as “emerging adulthood” is merely an excuse for incompetence.
    A period of dependance is necessary, of course, and everyone goes through stages at every age, but the process of “growing up” cannot be put in such general terms. every individual matures uniquely and individually, so to lump an entire generation into one single genre is inefficient and demeaning–its assuming that every 20-something is going through the exact same same thing and has the exact same problems. it does seem that there has been a change in the “timetable of adulthood,” but it is not a natural phenomenon, it is the result of our own actions.
    Perhaps it is not entirely a bad thing, this changing timetable of adulthood. Perhaps, in some aspects, it can be viewed as somewhat of an accomplishment. A major factor in this new trend of 20-somethings is the shift from blue collar jobs to white collar jobs–blue collar just isn’t good enough anymore. Which can be looked at as a good or bad thing: on the one hand, more people are getting an education and pursuing high-paying, “respectable” jobs; but on the other hand, blue collar jobs are now looked down upon, creating a gaping hole between the lower class and the upper middle class. Terms such as the “American Dream” have weeded their way into the hearts and minds of young people, telling them that they’re better than that, silencing the nagging truth of what expenses are required to get to the top. In other words, more people are staying in school longer, which for some lucky ones, results in fame and fortune, and for others, results in an ever-important education, but financial problems nonetheless.
    So the question remains: When is is appropriate to expect a person to take responsibility for their life? We may never know. All we know is that we cannot let terminology define and control us. Do not reject something because the label seems to confine you. Do not put all your hopes and dreams in empty words that sound like they’ll set you free. The answer simply is to live, to live and to live.

  26. Elizabeth Burgreen says:

    I believe one of the reasons that people who are in their twenties might come back to home is because of the way the economy has had an impact on their generation. With an unstable economy, 20 year-olds have a hard time finding and obtaining long-term jobs. Also, since the brain doesn’t fully develop until the mid-twenties, I feel that people will want to go to college and then return to their parents’ home because their brain still isn’t fully stable.
    Another reason I think that people in their 20 something’s will feel more comfortable at their parents’ home is because they might have an online job. There are so many new jobs available to people online now, so most people would rather not pay house payments and just move back in with their parents and work from home.

  27. Jonece Dunigan says:

    Another factor that I believe can also be influencing this “emerging adulthood” phenomena is the journey of adolescence. During this time frame, a person discovers the many talents that keep them happy and content. Watching anime, playing video games, and writing stories were some of my favorite things to do when I reached the end of middle school. This list, however, became shorter in late adolescence when a small dosage of life drips into the mix and time to myself was shortened. It feels like a decade ago when I watched my last anime and my Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy games are now collecting dust in my family room. My story writing, however, has never ceased no matter how much homework I had for my AP classes or how late I worked that night. My ability to write influenced me to become a journalist. Thus, the interest that endures the individual’s schizoid-like changes of the mind from middle through high school is usually the area the person will invest their future in. This makes adolescence very important. Yet, what if the dosage of life is so strong that it forces their adolescent years into a stupor that will sleep for a very long time? Sadly, that is how the stage is set for some teenagers. These individuals do not get the time to ask the question “What makes me happy?” but instead “What can I do to just get through today?”. To better illustrate this problem, let’s compare the information stated above to the lifestyle of my best friend named K.

    K’s adulthood was accelerated at the age of 16 when her and her mother had to run away to another state. Since her mother is still struggling to find a job, K is constantly switching roles in a soap opera that never ends. At her house she is either a college student doing her MOTHER’S online classes, a bill payer, or a foster parent to the many children that pass through their home. Outside her home, she is a Rivera instructor, or attending a community college from 5-8. Rarely does she have a break in between to enjoy her 20 year old life with her boyfriend or the friends she meets at college. I have seen her walk to the edge of hope and fall into the valley of depression. I have heard her say she saw exit signs in razorblades and guns. She is recovering from her unraveling now, by doing so she is JUST NOW discovering what makes her happy and what she wants to do in life. A dilemma that can further delay her starting a job that she will love, moving out into her own home, getting married, and starting a family.

    Now I am not saying that this happens to everyone who lived through WWIII. This is just my hypothesis.

  28. jadegenga says:

    I have to agree with Lerner. Although I can see why Arnett is placing this “emerging adulthood” in as a stage of life, I don’t see how it can be a definite stage of life. I would refer to it more as a transition period. If Arnett admits that some people may skip over this “emerging adulthood” period, then how can it truly be a life stage?

    When the adolescence debate began, there was an obvious stage of life masked by the circumstances of the time. Soon thereafter the circumstances shifted and the obviously *consistent* traits among people of this age group became evident. I can fully understand that the generations now have a harder time getting on their feet, but I do not see this emerging adulthood as a completely new stage of life. As I stated earlier, I see it as a period through which we are beginning to adapt to the technological advances of our time.

    My theory is that through advances in technology, we have become a society focused on immediate gratification. This expectance of instant gratification is therefore leading to our delay in acceptance of reality: Not everything is immediate. When we focus on the ease with which we can access information, it is easy to see how we may expect such ease in life milestones such as relationships, careers, and children. Basically, I don’t believe that this transition time is a completely new life stage, but I do find it intriguing that we now must look for the reasons why this is happening.

  29. jmborkey says:

    “We seem unable to agree when someone is old enough to take on adult responsibilities.”

    This quote in the article stood out to me. When are we old enough to take on adult responsibilities? My sister turned 24 last week and she lives at home, relying on my father, while she finishes graduate classes. Also, my friend from back home joined the Marines out of high school, served his two years, now hes 20 years old living on his own and taking care of himself. Adulthood isn’t a number, it is a matter of the maturity of the individual.

    • jmborkey says:

      I did my first load of laundry two nights ago at 18 years old. I called my mom and told her the story, she laughed and said I started doing that about 6 years after she did. My reason for mentioning that was to give an example of the changing times. We are not forced to grow up as fast as our parents were in their late teens/early twenties.

  30. Callie Daniels says:

    I may be one year shy of becoming a Twenty-Something (a label I haven’t heard since Sex and the City marathons), but the article worried me. I admit that I had very doting parents, but I do not feel the same way as the age group described in the article. Perhaps it is because I grew up with divorced parents and lived with a hard-working single mother and a sister who is eight years younger than me; this situation instilled in me a love of accomplishment. I may not have everything, but that does not mean I am unable to obtain what I want. It seems, sadly, that the age group does not feel the same passion as I do… I may be young, and still wet behind the ears, but my definition of a good day is a job well done. The idea of wandering about aimlessly disgusts me.
    I have quite a few friends who are in their twenties who still live with their parents or even grandparents and work part-time jobs…but only a handful of them are actually working towards a better future. The rest, as much as I care about them, seem to be wasting their lives by delaying the trials and joys of adulthood. The article states that the brains of Twenty Somethings are delayed in growth (which offers a fine explanation of the dumb decisions Twenty Somethings are noted for), but that shouldn’t be the reason for us to sit about and wait for a tooth fairy to endow us with the money.
    Yes, we’ve had parents and grandparents tell us of their trials and losses when they were Twenty Somethings, but who hasn’t? It seems that everybody has that crony who tell us how easy we have it and how hard life was in 1920s, 1930s, 1940s…etc. Long story short, for every valley there is a mountain. For every loss, there is a gain. There is beauty in struggle, but the tragedy is that the Twenty Somethings are putting it off to do…what?
    I know too well that the economy is in a terrible shape and the job search is bleak, but that doesn’t mean we should give up.

  31. Eric Levine says:

    The 20-Something generation cover story of The New York Times Sunday Magazine is a good, well written article. It touched on a little bit of everything that influences people growing up in their 20’s. I’m not even 20 yet but I was able to connect, understand, and completely agree with some ideas shared. The article pointed out how culture, family, wealth, dependence, and drugs impact the growth of young adults in their 20’s. I like how the article touched on the advantages and opportunities that the upper class have on the rest of the crowd. But I felt like the statistics about moving around (changing residences), the number of jobs and job changes, and age of marriage are irrelevant to show that society is moving in the wrong direction. This just points out how fast society is developing and addresses the issue that one must adapt to changes to keep up with the fast-paced, progressing world we are living in. Life like media keeps evolving and coming out with newer, more advanced things and like technology with every new development comes newer problems with it.

    Now, I try to be a classy guy so I found it funny that Jeffrey Arnett’s wife asked him out to a date after she graduated but that’s exactly how much society has been changing. Back in the day, guys made the first move and were expected start up relationships. Therefore, it’s no surprise to me that this generation has different statistical data on growing up and life struggles or successes. The story of Nicole who had to constantly help out her family with finances to bring food to the table and keep shelter above their heads points out the struggles one must escape to be successful. The economy in the 60’s and 70’s was better than the current economy, so people born around those times didn’t have to endure the problems as commonly as Nicole and many others in today’s modern world. Times are changing and the economy as well as other environmental factors make this generation different, interesting, challenging, and unique.

  32. Brian Yim says:

    I believe that the reasons the “twenty-somethings” have failed to consistently failed to reach basically comes down to two factors, both from opposite extremes. The first extreme being the type that before they were into their twenty’s, they were catered to their every need. This leads to the person not only jobless but also without an all around work ethic. The lack of work ethic brings the inability to hold down a steady job, and lets face it, no girl wants to date a someone broke. The person, being catered to all their youth, probably also craves attention and wants it completely their way, thus not being able to compromise with a “significant other.”

    Then there is the other extreme, the ones who think “I don’t need anyone… I’m capable of taking care of myself. These people are to busy rebelling against “the man” to take time to learn things the “right way.” They spend their time doing it their way instead of the way a boss, adviser, or whoever has laid it out for them, and therefore, get fired – again no money = no girl. Also they feel no need for a spouse that will “tie them down” so they want to live on their lonesome.

  33. Ellie Turner says:

    Obviously, as years pass, society changes. Several people have left comments about this fact and I agree that the main reason young adults are slower to launch their independent lives is that times are not how they used to be. Years ago, women did not have to worry about a career, because they would get married and be a housewife, no exceptions. Then, men did not have to worry, neccessarily, about a college degree because they could get a decent paying job without one. Life used to be simple, or at least it seems that way. Now, there is so much pressure to be the best, usually by years of education and internships, because if you do not have a college degree and/or experience, you probably will not get a job. The jobs that could be completed by a man right out of high school or younger are now the responsibility of a machine.
    Personally, as a young girl I watched Legally Blonde and as I got older I watched Sex in the City. These shows empower girls and make them feel like they can conquer the world. My mom also instilled in me that I did not have to depend on anyone to be successful. She wanted me to control my own financial state and self-satisfaction. As I entered high school, I became the president of any and every organization, because I had been taught that I could lead my class and eventually the world if I wanted too. Well frankly, it is going to take me a little while to a become president, fashion designer, fashion magazine editor, lawyer, or any other dream I can think of today. Time is not an issue to many people, including me, because education is crucial and that takes time. Only after you get an education suitable for the head of a company can you begin your career. Most women are focused on their career, so they have no time to focus on a relationship or children. I guess you could also say that along with society changing, our priorities change as well.
    I will say that some “20-somethings” are lazy and have never been taught the value of a dollar because they have never had to work for it. I strongly believe, however, that if the concerned would look close at the mass of young adults that seem like they want to hold off on adulthood as long as possible, they would find a generation that is worried about their future and trying to take the proper steps to ensure success.

  34. Katie Coulston says:

    Our society dictates everything in our lives, from our development to our moral behavior, to the way we eat. We see in this article that because of our ever accepting society it has become okay to ignore what was once normal. Graduating high school, then getting married, then having kids is no longer good enough. There is continual societal pressure to be successful, and our society has changed the definition of successful. In many people minds being successful is not having a happy family, but achieving elevated financial success or having impressive careers. Employers also feed into this trend, there are fewer and fewer jobs available for people with just a high school degree, and even with just a college degree. Now we must have a masters degree or a phd to try and get ahead of the curve. So with this change in our society during the last twenty to thirty years the current “20 something” generation has created their own rules as to what is acceptable. We are no longer shy about relationships. People embrace homosexuality and pre-marital sex, acts that in previous generations were hidden from society because of the social stigma. The incentive to grow up has changed. Once you turn eighteen now, you are not an adult. You are beginning the next chapter of your schooling years where most are still dependent on their parents to take care of them in some sense, and with jobs hard to come by after college many people move back home with mom and dad hoping to find something. This completely opposite from the lifestyle of previous generations in which once you turned a certain age you were completely on your own. Being forced to take care of yourself instills a necessary maturity required to survive. That is what is currently missing in this generation. There is no societal push to take care of yourself. As long as you are working towards something we have come to assume it is the parents job to take care of us. This is a completely new lifestyle compared to previous generations that in many ways is a progressive movement against the norm, but is also a lifestyle that could be detrimental to the maturity of society and their ability to deal with issues in their lives, their government, and their world.

  35. Katie Keatley says:

    I agree that parents do have an impact on when their children will mature. Many teens and young adults are under the impression that their parents are always going to be their to catch them when, and if they fall. Having this safety net gives teens the impression that if they don’t do well in school, or are unable to get a job, their parents will come to the rescue and house, feed, and clothe them. While this may be the case for some kids, it is unrealistic to think this way. Your parents aren’t always going to be their for you, and eventually, you are going to have to figure things out on your own. It is important to learn at an early age, that it is ok to rely on your parents for some things, but at a certain point in your life, you are going to have to let go.

  36. Kyndall Cox says:

    The way a person behaves and how they proceed through life depends on how they were raised. That was the underlying message of this article. If it is understood from an early age that you are expected to move out of the home, and begin to make something of yourself, you do just that. As I sit and type this George Lopez is discussing the same thing on his late night program. He said in his day they were called ‘bums’ not ’emerging adults’. He also said that its apart of today’s culture, which is true as well. As a member of this ’emerging adults’ group i can understand about us not marrying early, or waiting later to start on our DEFINITE careers. With today’s ever changing economy and job markets, people looking for jobs often have to ‘shop’ around for a good job. Also, people usually do not want to start a family unless they are financially secure. We just have to sum this up to the fact that our world is changing. The article also stated that we are more optimistic than our parents about our future. I believe that that is very true. They started out early and often faced hardship being young parents and young career men and women. We often say that we do not want to make the same mistakes as our parents. This just may be our way of not making those same mistakes.

  37. Arlissa Sneed says:

    As I read this article, I was stunned by how well I related to it. Very soon I will join the “20-somethings” and I am overwhelmed with the possibilities that face me. Should I go to Grad school, chase my dream job, or accept the first decent job offered? My entire life I’ve been told that I can be anything I want to be. Unfortunately, I don’t know what that is. I can also relate to feeling almost financially independent but not quite. I pay for my education, housing, and food but my parents still pay for my insurance and cell phone. I have two part-time jobs and live on my own, yet I still do not feel independent. I would compare the feeling to a dog on a chain. The dog runs and runs thinking its free, (like me thinking I am independent), then his chain violently jerks him back (like when I needed a new tire and received help from my parents).
    If emerging adulthood is not really a new stage in life, but rather the result of a unique set of social and economical conditions, the problems and possibilities of it should still be discussed and recognized by society. Knowing that I am not alone in my struggle gives me hope and reassurance. I think that programs and aid to help the emerging twenty-somethings will benefit society in the long run by helping the lost and confused find direction and purpose.

  38. Elizabeth Sales says:

    This article really opened my eyes to what is happening in society today. In the 70s, the typical thing to do was to have an order of events to occur in life. It was expected for men and women to do those 6 things in order. Today, is a different story because Americans have pushed away and broken the trend of the 70s lifestyle. Many teenagers and people in their early 20s have a lax or lazy attitude about getting jobs, pursuing careers, and settling down to have a family. For example, nowadays it is common to see a 30 year old woman going back to finish graduate school, who is living at home until she can afford to rent an apartment, because she is not married. I feel that some people will live this lifestyle because they are unsure of what profession they want to pursue so they will take their time with school. Some will be stuck in rut because of laziness, procrastination or possibly lack of drive. These people will reject adulthood as long as possible because of distractions, whether it be partying, the technology we have today, or because they were simply raised to be given everything their whole life. I’m not saying that we should have a 10 year plan for our lives, but that we should strive to find a job that is suitable, and become financially independent. So hopefully that we can be a generation that excels, invents, and takes a step forward to improve what we can. A 10 year life plan isn’t necessary, just “being the best we can be,” is simply enough.

  39. K. Nicole Miller says:

    This article was very interesting. I believe that the reason people in their twenties are all over the place is because they aren’t forced to grow up anymore like they were in the old days. For example back then the “norm” was to get married when they were nineteen twenty years old. Then they would have a baby shortly after. Having a baby and a family to take care of forces a young person to grow up and take on more responsibilities. Nowadays many twenty year olds responsibilities is just to take care of themselves and pay some rent. Or they might not even be paying rent because they live at home. However I also believe that in your twenties is when one truly finds out who they are and who they want to be. That’s why they change their mind so much and are moving around. They have so much spirit and want to do big things with their life. It takes them a lot more time to get settled because now the message is you can be whoever you want to be and do whatever you want. I think back in the day they had a much different message and much less options.

  40. Stevie Farrar says:

    The idea of “emerging adulthood” being a new stage in life is not, in my opinion, the way to handle this epidemic of unsuccessful college graduates. Rather than accepting the fact that an alarming amount of college students enter the real world unprepared, we should back up and fix the problem from the start. Instead of catering to our children, parents should instill in them essential life lessons such as hard work, independence and, yes, failure. Especially during their senior year of high school and college career, students need to understand that life is not always easy, things don’t always go your way and, most importantly, anything worth having is going to take working for. Growing up, we are told that if we can dream if, we can achieve it. This may be true, but our parents fail to really mention the game plan that is required to get there. Most of us have this American dream that as long as we have a degree, were involved in a club or two and managed to keep our less-intelligent college escapades off of Facebook, employers will be flocking to us the second that degree hits our hand. Unless you are an accountancy major, this is painfully false. Especially with the state of today’s economy and the diminishing middle class, the job market in America is fiercely competitive. This competition, however, is not necessarily won by the people who went to college for seven years and have two B.A.s and a master’s under their belt. Education, experience, drive and hard work will surpass any slacker with a master’s degree, anywhere at any time. This is the message our college students are missing, a message that their parents failed to slip into their childhood bedtime stories. The answer to the dilemma of “emerging adulthood” is not a new stage of life; the answer is a new approach towards the values we stress to our children.

  41. Lauren McMillin says:

    It has become evident over the years that there have been drastic changes in the ways that people view not only society as a whole, but the ways in which people views their own lives as well. In the past, children have followed the footsteps of those before them and gone into fields of study and practice simply because they felt like that was what they were supposed to do and that that is just the way things were going to be. Nowadays, however, youth are being encouraged to “follow their dreams” and to really search within themselves to discover what it is they want to do with their lives. While some may know exactly what they want to do in life and know just how to achieve their goals, for others the process may take a bit more time. Young adults, particularly 20-somethings, are more frequently found living at home or unsettled for countless reasons, but one explanation for this could be that they simply have not found what it is that makes them truly happy and that they want to have a part of their lives, even for the rest of their lives. Whether this may be a family, job, home, etc., the fact that these young adults yearn to fill these needs results in a change in society’s perception the ways in which youth develop into independent, working adults.

  42. Gloria Briggs says:

    I found this article very interesting because it made me realize that this is what is actually going on in the world today. I also think there is only one reason as to why people are reaching adulthood so late in life. I believe that it is simply because everything now a days is acceptable. Back in the 1920’s no one dared to be different because everyone wanted to be accepted. Today literally everything is acceptable and that is why people are taking a long time to grow up. They do what they want to do.

  43. taylorharrell says:

    As a sophomore that has already taken Journalism 102, I cannot tell you how much the concept of mass media was stressed throughout the course and i anticipate to learn more and more about the production of mass media throughout the duration of my studies in the school of journalism. I think that it is very important, as journalists, to start out with the basics and learn who our target audience is that we are writing for. I strongly agree with the blog post that in order to understand the “mass” of mass media we need to learn who our audience is and in order to do that we definitely need to look into the depths of our generation.

    In the article that was posted to this blog i learned a lot of interesting statistics that are occurring in our generation. I had no clue that over the past decade, the speed of maturity has slowed down so much. Before us, humans were maturing so much faster than we do today. Granted, it was a lot easier back in our parents day to mature at such an early age because not so much was expected of them. However, in our generation we are not only expected to have a college degree, but preferred to have a masters degree. In our generation it is so much harder to find jobs or a career. Because of the now advanced levels of education and stress to find a job, i feel that is why our generation is also set back on the ages at which we get married and have children. This article was very interesting to me and i found out a lot of useful information that helped me to better understand my generation and the mass that i will be targeting as a journalism writing to the mass media.

  44. Taylor Harrell says:

    7. Technical innovations like the iPad will make an important contribution to the world of media products, and they will help us to win younger audiences.
    ~ i personally think that innovations such as the ipad have made a substantial impact on todays technological society. Not only is it a cool little gadget, but it serves the purpose of getting what we want, when we want it. We always have our gadgets with us everywhere we go, anything we need to know is on this one devise. Of course it wins over a younger audience, the youth of today are the ones that are obsessed with have the best and newest gadgets.

    19. Customers must come first.
    ~ Of course i agree with this one. If your customer doesnt come first, who does? Your target audience is your customer so they MUST COME FIRST!

    28. Stay with your strategy: Our strategy is: Print FIRST.
    ~The strategy “Print comes first” must be a main priority if we are trying to keep it alive and thriving. We must focus on print first or it will fall further and further behind new technology.

    34. Every industry, every sector had to rethink the ways they are doing business in the last decade, except for the newsstands business.
    ~ I completely agree with this number. All industries and businesses that are struggling have no other choice but the rethink the way they do everything. Obviously what they are doing right now is not working, so if they want things to change, they need to start doing some things differently. In this past decade, things have changed dramatically therefore the businesses need to keep up and change along with the media age.

    48. When launching a new magazine, go to the source: the customers. Ask them what they want, when they wanted and how they wanted.
    ~The customers are your readers, who are your buyers, who promote your brand. If you dont give them what they want then you can kiss success goodbye. Without your customers you are nothing. If you dont have customers, you wont have sponsors or advertisers either because no one wants their adds in a magazine no one reads. Definitely go to the customers first and foremost when creating anything new.

    12. Paper remains the easiest way to read newspapers and magazines.
    ~ No way! if i have my phone or ipad in my purse, i have the world of news and media at my instant fingertips. I would have to carry around magazines, newspapers, etc. in my purse to achieve a minimal portion of what my technology would achieve in one light weight portable gadget.

    6. Print can and is still a highly profitable and successful business – today and in the future
    ~Print is falling further and further behind in the world of technology, it may be profitable now, but give it a few years and it will be struggling for any profit at all. They way its going with newer generations, i dont see the future of print out-beating the future of print.

    31. The web and the internet are not to be blamed for our troubles and problems in print.
    ~The web and internet are absolutely to blame for the troubles and problems that print has these days. Before new technology like the web and internet print was thriving and everyone depended on it to know what was going on.

    46. Print will be with us for a long long time.
    ~ With the way things are going now, print is going more and more down hill and it doesnt look like the future of print is getting any brighter. Today’s age is all about technology, we all live for it and that desire is just going to get stronger and stronger. Although print will be in our future for a long time, print will not be in our future in many years to come.

    47. The magic of using four different kinds of paper in the same issue of your magazine works magic and create a wow factor that is missing from a lot of magazines on the market place.
    ~ Just because you use different kinds of paper in one issue does not mean that i (as the consumer) are going to want to buy it more. Magazines are still made of paper, so just because the magazine business uses different types of paper will not make me want to read or buy it over getting it for free on the connivence of my laptop. This would not make a difference at all. It may look cooler, but not cool enough to make me want it more.

  45. Caroline Jones says:

    I think kids are slower to “grow up” and face the real world than our parents for many reasons. One, our generation seems to be really lazy (hints obesity). Another reason, I believe, is because we, for the most part, have been blessed with much more than our parents were when they were our age. The cost of living has greatly increased but it seems it was harder when our parents were growing up. My dad grew up in a family of 7 kids, he saved money for an extremely long period of time so he could buy his own car. Now, it seems that a lot of children are spoiled with their own cars that their parents bought for them. Kids and young adults are more spoiled now than ever and to me seems like they are having a hard time coming to terms that they will be on their own. We want to be able to go straight from college graduation to being at the financial spot that our parents are, without realizing just how much hard work it took to get there.

  46. Sealy Smith says:

    A good journalist has to understand their audience. If the audience is not happy then the journalist has not accomplished the “mass” part of mass media. They may have written something that is great to them but unless they have a audience that is well reached than it can not be considered mass media. The audience is the most important thing, just like the customer is the most important thing. I mean we all know that “the customer is ALWAYS right!” For example whenever a customer complains about something that almost always get their way. This is because if the customer is unhappy he or she will not return or use the certain services anymore and even worse may even spreed a negative word about a company, service, or product. Therefore, just like the customer must be happy and satisfied, so must a journalist’s audience!

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