Jan 09, 2020

Young people are constantly reshaping their priorities and how they choose how to have fun—and they aim to share those experiences online.

Today’s emerging adults—teens and 20-somethings—have elevated leisure time and having fun to an art form. They believe fun is an “escape from all worry” and is any experience that makes them feel better (and can be bragged about on Instagram).

A recent study by ViacomCBS’ Marketing and Partner Insights (MPI) team revealed that 81% of emerging adults agree that fun is an important part of their lives. A variety of factors define fun,  including the activity itself, the company they’re in, and their expectations. In their search for fun, young people seek activities that will help them relax from their busy lives, connect them with others, help them develop skill sets, and allow them to explore.

Young people today also place a greater value on experiences, as they create lasting memories, and they provide valuable time to detach from their devices.

“Access to an infinite stream of content has led to shortened attention spans,” says Kate Feigenbaum, VP of MPI. “Sitting still is not an option when the world around you is constantly changing and your choices are endless. The impact is that meaningful experiences matter more to this demographic.”

This research also found that emerging adults are tackling responsibilities earlier in their lives, which means the time they have for fun is precious to them. One way they validate their fun is through social media, where they curate their experiences, in hopes of gaining approval.

For brands, understanding how fun is being defined, shared, and validated is important in giving consumers what they want, such as real-life connections, skill-building opportunities, moments to look forward to and, of course, relaxation.

Here’s a breakdown of why young people pursue fun:

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