Charting Millennials

I was going through all the tweets I’ve favorited over the past several months, and I noticed a recurring theme: charts and graphs that relate to millennials. I think I favorited or retweeted them with the intention of sharing of them on here, but then I forgot about them. * cue sad violin * However, my propensity to be forgetful works out well, because now I can provide y’all with a compendium of charts. #checkitout

FIRST, the number of young-uns that identify themselves as Republicans shocked Harvard researchers earlier this spring. Apparently this is a bad thing for Democrats who are running in the 2014 midterm elections. policy-mic-political-id

And then there’s this: skeptical Millennials are skeptical of everything.


 

SECOND, the National Low Income Housing Coalition put together a chart of how many hours a person working a minimum-wage job would have to work in order to be able to afford rent in their state. What I learned from this chart: you need to work 69 more hours per week in New York than you would in Ohio in order to keep a roof over your head (the rent is too damn high!).

 


 

THIRD, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last month that today’s teenagers are less likely to be employed than ever. While nearly 60 percent of teens in the 1980s held summer jobs, only about 35 percent have held summer jobs in the 2010s. However, researchers don’t think the economy is the reason behind this dramatic decrease. They attribute the drop to the increasing number of students enrolling in summer courses in high school and college. This is one of many charts that are based on the results of the extensive study that I found particularly interesting: kids from more financially well-off families are more likely to have a summer job than their less well-off peers.

 


 

FOURTH, National Public Radio and the Harvard School of Public Health teamed up to conduct an elaborate study on what various age groups across America are stressed about. This chart is just a snippet of all the data they collected, but it’s interesting that our generation in particular is incredibly frazzled about our overall responsibilities.

 


 

FIFTH, the American government’s Census Bureau created a set of insanely beautiful and elaborate graphics explaining what career fields particular college majors actually end up working in. As FactTank at the Pew Research Center explained, the thicker the line, the greater the share of people in the particular job field. If you visit the actual Census Bureau website, you can filter out certain groups to see where they ended up (for example, women who majored in a STEM field versus men who did the same).

 


 

LASTLY, in a news story that surprised ABSOLUTELY NO ONE, student loans are rising. The Brookings Institution released this fancy graph, and I honestly have no idea how to interpret it, but it looks both cool and depressing, so here you go. Check out details about the graph here.

Stress Might Actually be Good for You, But It’s Not for the Reason You Think

While I was lurking around Reddit last week, I ran across an AskReddit thread that posed the question “What’s one TED Talk (or equivalent) that everyone should watch and why?” Quite a few people said they were particularly fond of Kelly McGonigal’s lecture on how we can rewire our brains to interpret stress as a good thing, and thereby improve our lives generally and possibly even increase the longevity of our lives.

“How you think about stress matters,” explains McGonigal, who is a psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University who has spent years studying the effects of stress on the human body.

For many years, scientists and doctors warned that too much stress could be harmful. However, new research has turned that assertion completely upside down. As McGonigal notes, a more recent study found that people who have high levels of stress, but don’t view that stress as a bad thing, are less likely to die.

Furthermore, this means that the belief that stress is bad for one’s health was actually the 15th leading cause of death in the United States in 2012. More than 18,000 Americans died simply because they thought that the stress they were experiencing was negatively impacting their bodies.

Once you get over the initial shock at the suggestion that stress isn’t bad for you, McGonigal’s theory seems to make sense. After all, with all the multitasking, interconnectivity, and pressures that come with our work, school, and social lives, stress is inescapable – particularly for my generation. Getting rid of stress altogether is impossible. So, like McGonigal suggests, the next best thing is to spin that stress in a positive way. You don’t have to pretend like it’s not there, but you also don’t have to think of it as the Grim Reaper (following you around, making you susceptible to your co-worker’s cold, or making your heart rate flip out).

What do you think about McGonigal’s theory? Are there any other TED Talks or TEDx Talks that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!

8 Apps That Transformed My iPhone Experience

Compared to other people, my iPhone is a dull and rather empty device. About half of its 32GB capacity remains unused, and the large chunk that is used is filled with music. In other words, I have very few apps. BUT the few apps I do have are rather magnificent, if I do say so myself.

Here are some apps that I love that I think you might love too, especially if you love playing around with the photos you take with your phone. If you have a favorite app that you think is similar or better than these, comment down below! I’m looking to expand my app collection. : )

RHONNA DESIGNSrhonna
I use this app ALL. THE. TIME. It’s a beautiful photo and text editing program that lets you customize your photos with cute graphics, texts, and filters. It’s got a fair amount of free text packages (with about three dozen fonts), and tons of retro banners and icons. I think this was once a free “app of the week” on iTunes, but I’m not sure if it is still free now. Even if it’s not, I promise it’s worth the investment.

picjointerPIC JOINTER
Forget Picstitch. I am in love with this free photo collage app. It lets you adjust the dimensions of the overall photo (1 x 1, 4 x 3, 3 x 4, and 3 x 2), the thickness of the border, and the color of the border. It even lets you adjust the dimensions of the spaces in the overall photo so you can fit your photos accordingly. No more restraining borders!

HEADSPACE
This is technically a free meditation app that includes ten free 10-minute guided meditation sessions. I use this when I am having trouble falling asleep, and while that may not be the stated purpose of the app, it works for me!

After your ten sessions are up, you have the option to go online and buy more, or you can just start the sessions all over again. I’ve gone with the latter, and so far so good. P.S. This is also known as the “Get Some Headspace” app in the App Store.

STARBUCKS
It shocks me how few people have this free app. Not only is it a wonderful way to instantly find the closest Starbucks, but it also gives you access to a new free app download every week and a new free song download every week. Not to mention if you have a Starbucks gift card, it keeps track of your purchases (after a certain amount you get a free drink or food item!) and lets you refill the card. If you don’t already have a gift card, get one (even with just $5 on it) and register it online. You’re automatically up for a free drink (any kind, any size) on your birthday!

PICLAB HD
The older brother of free photo-editing app, PicLab, PicLab HD ($1.99) is similar to Rhonna Designs, but has different fonts, is capable of pulling multiple images into the photo you’re creating, and lets you curve, distort, and drop shadow your text. It also lets you alter the brightness, contrast, and focus of the photo and add funky elements like light effects. The only downside to this app is that you can’t rearrange the order of the layers, which is pretty annoying when you suddenly decide you want to include a banner behind some text. Continue reading

Mapping Out the Most-Streamed Musicians Across America

Self-proclaimed “music intelligence” company The Echo Nest just released some statistics on the most distinctively popular artist in every state. The stats came from the number of times a musician’s work was streamed on Spotify by the residents of a certain state.

The results are rather surprising, and in some cases, seemingly random. Nebraskans really love the British-band Bastille. Tennessee is a strong supporter of rapper Juicy J. Country-duo Florida Georgia Line’s biggest fan base is not in either of its namesake states. Rather, it’s in Ohio of all places.

Check out the chart below to see what band has the most groupies in your state! The man behind this project also created an app that allows you to compare the listening habits of residents in two different states. Learn more about it here.

I’m very surprised that most of the artists that are typically in the Top 40 are nowhere to be found on this map. No Beyonce, Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, Adele, Katy Perry, or Rihanna.

Hat tip to Business Insider’s article on the map.