Hi! I’m Noelle. It’s nice to meet you! My dad let me write his email this week for Father’s Day and I’m super excited.
Let me first say that my dad is the best. I’m struggling to put into words how awesome he is as a father and person.
When I bake something, which I do a lot, he always says, “I am NOT doing your dishes today. You need to clean up after yourself.” He’s 100% right, I should do my own dishes. Yet, every time, when I’m about halfway through cleaning, he steps in and finishes for me.
He always has dinner ready when I get home from practice. If I forget my lunch box, he brings it to school. If there’s a bug in my room, he squashes it. He isn’t in my face when I don’t want him to be, but he’s always there when I need him to be.
With all that being said, there are three things that bother me about him, which is not much considering I’m 14:
- He talks on the phone super loud.
- He plays the same songs over and over again on his guitar.
- He doesn’t take the influence of TikTok seriously enough.
No, TikTok itself is not a serious app. But the way it brings together millions of people, educating them, entertaining them, helping them find their niche, is amazing.
If I asked 10 adults how they think teenagers use the internet, I’m sure half of them would say we just cancel and bully people. Cancel culture sucks, but some of the kids canceling influencers on TikTok can be as young as 8.
We’re all tired of people with big platforms being assholes, and being the young kids that we are, we’re still figuring out how to deal with it. We’ve tried to stop using “cancel.” We’ve started using the phrase “holding them accountable,” which lets people make mistakes but makes sure the 8-year-olds know it’s wrong.
Gen Z is rapidly growing in power. We control the music industry to the point where we can get a Backyardigans song in the Global Top 100 just because we feel like it. We can crash a Trump rally.
Maybe we don’t exactly know everything about having that much power. Eventually we will, and the world will completely change.
Okay, bye besties.
Happy Father’s Day!
Here’s what (my dad) is seeing:
America is running out of willing vaccine recipients. Nearly two-thirds of adults who’ve yet to get the COVID vaccine say there’s no chance they ever will. Fourteen percent are still on the fence. The anti-vax group is unsurprisingly still male, ages 35 to 54, and – maybe not so unsurprisingly – much wealthier than the average bear. If I was a more provocative writer, I would liken not getting vaccinated without a legitimate medical reason to dodging the draft. But I’m just here to make friends.
Overall intent to shop on Prime Day is down, but interest in apparel is way up. I pretty much gave away the whole story in the headline here, so I don’t really have much else to say. People have vastly different economic attitudes and needs than they did during the last Prime Day in October. Read this and figure the rest out for yourself. The numbers vary pretty widely based on job status, parental status, and a few other things.
One thing that could explain a (potential) drop in Prime Day buying is a rise in brick-and-mortar discount retail shopping. The percentage of Americans who plan to shop more at discount retailers like Ross or TJ Maxx is up significantly compared to last October (when the last Prime Day rolled around, if you weren’t paying attention 30 seconds ago). I’m not the smartest dude on the planet, but COVID calming down and people feeling more comfortable in stores would seem to impact online shopping.
Two times more people gained weight during the pandemic than lost weight. As bathing suit season smacks everyone in the face, here’s hoping body positivity is peaking. Just under 40% of Americans say they added lbs since COVID started, while 21% say they shrunk. One big problem with that is that the people who gained weight are still the most COVID-cautious, meaning they’re the least likely to feel safe returning to a gym. It’s going to take us a while – collectively – to get back to health.
Gen Z is revitalizing the thrift shop scene. If you wanted any clearer evidence that Gen Z is just a younger, cooler version of Gen X, they’re totally bringing back the whole “used clothes” scene. And yes, Noelle is a younger, cooler version of me – gratuitous swearing and all. But, like I was schlepping around Army surplus stores, looking for flannel shirts and cargo pants in ‘93, the kids today are doing their own bargain-vintage hunting. I just hope they aren’t spending the money they save on bags of stems and seeds with weed in it. Where’s my pager?
The COVID-cautious crowd is still driving the home beautification boom. We published this study last week while I was on vacation, but it deserves a shout-out anyway. Skyrocketing lumber prices (which have fallen lately, for what it’s worth), have steered more Americans toward home improvement in areas like landscaping and gardening. It’s particularly vogue among the group of folks who still take their social distancing seriously. Makes sense.
Given that I took last week off (and brilliantly life-hacked my way via child labor this week) we have a ton of other interesting studies to read if you care about being smarter:
- Consumer confidence fell yet again last week and that sucks;
- People going to therapy for their mental health has fallen, as overall happiness is climbing – and that doesn’t suck;
- In the best proof yet that COVID is ending, people feel comfortable eating food samples at Costco again;
- Well, 29% of people genuinely enjoy doing laundry and almost everyone likes their washing machine;
- Way more people like to read and physical books are still the best;
- Over half of Americans think the Tokyo Olympics shouldn’t happen and I couldn’t disagree more – the world needs an Olympiad. Just be smart about it (also, gymnastics is the most popular sport by a tumbling pass);
- It’s probably worth your time to understand why people aren’t comfortable getting vaccinated;
- More parents are starting to register their kids for activities now that they’re vaccinated;
- Even as people return to normal life, they aren’t wearing makeup as much.
And here are the most popular questions of the last week or so:
- Are you any good at playing golf?
- To what extent do you enjoy eating full meals (not just snacks) in bed?
- How burnt do you prefer your marshmallows when roasting them over a campfire for a s’more?
- To what extent do you support or oppose spouses choosing to swap surnames with each other after marriage?
- Do you like to keep your hard alcohol (vodka, whiskey, rum, etc.) chilled in a fridge or cooler, or keep it at room temperature?
- Are you usually the first person or last person to leave a video chat?
Answer Key: Sometimes; The least extent imaginable; There’s only one way to cook a marshmallow; I truly couldn’t care less; Depends on the alcohol; First.
Hoping you’re well. Happy Father’s Day.
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