Global Youth Rely on “Curators of Cool”

Teens and young adults seek out sources that help them navigate through the clutter

Youth are suffering from information overload. Everyone wants a little piece of their attention – and they are overstimulated when it comes to content, to put it mildly.

They don’t have the time or patience to look through a thousand options for the perfect jeans, make-out song or easy dinner. To help them navigate through the clutter, they’re turning to peers – or to brands – to act as filters for them. These trusted sources can be a go-to website, blogger, vlogger, celebrity or other expert.

Molly, a 17-year-old in Australia, is just one of many young people who made us aware of the scope of this trend for curation.  “I love brands like Adidas, Nike or Puma. But I’d never follow their Instagram page or even go on their website. I do follow their tastemakers, though,” she told us.

Young people are also curating for themselves and sharing their perspective with others.  This phenomenon is especially apparent on Instagram. According to Henry, a 23 year-old from the UK, “The reason I take photographs is because I, in a somewhat arrogant sense, think I have an interesting eye on the world.”

Finally, youth appreciate quality curation. This comment from Zofia, a 17 year-old from Poland, illustrates how they’re drawn to good aesthetics: “I like Instagram feeds that are clean, well-kept, neatly put-together and filtered.”

In short, teens and young adults are looking for subjective “bullshit filters.” Rather than objective advice,   they seek out sources with a point of view and good taste.