There’s a new kid on the block, and, no, he doesn’t sing for his supper. He writes.
This summer Paul Eulette, 23, started QuarterLife Magazine, a weekly magazine written by Gen Yers with content for Gen Yers. With 15 international writers, the magazine covers topics including politics, music, business and culture.
Eulette started the magazine to give Gen Yers a positive presence in society, since most of our public representatives are the Paris Hiltons and Brittany Spears' of the world.
“I wanted to show that there are people out there that can use their brains and think,” Eulette said in an interview. “That’s the overarching theme of the magazine. And to show the people of our generation that they don’t have to be like the Paris Hiltons.”
I was excited when I learned this, because, as a Gen Yer myself, I think we are often either pooh-poohed as too young and inexperienced to think about such serious things, or thought too ditzy to care. And as an older sister, I certainly don’t want my younger siblings taking the “greats” of the MTV/Hollywood scene as role models!
But QuarterLife is written for Gen Y, not about us. Thus, each issue focuses on topics pertinent to life as a twenty-something. For instance, the last issue centered on urban life and included articles such as whether all major metro cities are considered liberal and the effects of intercity poverty on a younger generation.
Interestingly, the readership age is 18-34 and over 55, with a 21 year age gap. (Eulette found that out through Facebook, by the way.) Eulette said he has received many tweets from the older generations expressing how much they like the magazine.
“The older generations want to see how the younger minds are working,” he said. One practical reason this inter-generational understanding is important is for marketing purposes, Eulette said. Now that we’ve made our entrance into the adult world, “it’s important for people to know how Generation Yers from around the world really think.”
Eulette graduated with a communications degree in 2008 from Clemson University in South Carolina. He currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. He came up with the idea for the magazine as a project for a graphic communications internship in Florida. Eulette’s director was impressed with the idea and encouraged him to turn it into a real venture. While between jobs this summer, he decided to “run with the idea… [and] it went to maximum velocity in about two days.”
Eulette’s vision is to build the magazine’s online presence and eventually combine a print format with digital. However, “with young people, we use our computers a lot, so online is the way to go.” Eulette said social media has been one of the best ways to develop content.
Because of the wide variety of articles in QuarterLife, its potential impact shouldn’t be underestimated. It can help bridge the generational gap in both work and social life. Even though one particular article might not spell out all the presuppositions, thoughts, attitudes and impressions of Generation Y, a good variety can go a long way towards real understanding.
However, bridging the gap goes both ways. It’s easy for anyone to get caught up in the “me” part of understanding and neglect the “you.”
We youngsters also have to work at understanding our predecessors. We can’t be stuck in the mindset that it’s all about us and put the responsibility on others. But while we seek to find the first half in the equation of understanding, magazines like QuarterLife can help provide the second half.
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