Three Things that Millennials do better than their Parents
The “millennial generation”, consisting of people born between 1982 and 2004, receive a lot of criticism in the media for being somewhat ineffectual and narcissistic. This can have serious effects since, for example, they face a serious disadvantage in the job market as some employers are wary of the reputation of this generation. A recent study at Georgetown University found that a surprising 40% of jobseekers in America are millennials, which means that they struggle to find employment more than any other age group.
However, as developmental psychologist Dr Meg Jay points out, the situation isn’t entirely bleak. Millennials are also currently occupying the period of adult life – between 20 and 35 – when 80% of life’s most significant events take place, which Jay calls a “developmental sweet spot”. In fact, there are many things that millennials, despite their fame, actually do better than the generations that came before them.
Millennials are the first generation to be “digital natives”, meaning that they grew up with technology such as the Internet and are therefore far more adept at using it. This means that they are more adapted to absorbing huge amounts of information in a short period of time - the silver lining to their notoriously weakened attention span. While older generations sneer at millennials for the amount of time they spend on social media, these days it is impossible to get anything done without some degree of savviness with technology. Crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter also mean that a propensity for self-promotion on social media isn’t just a way to get likes and retweets. It can also be a legitimate way to start a business.
Social media has also had a vital impact on social justice causes since people are beginning to receive their news directly from each other rather than larger corporations. The Arab Spring in 2010, for example, was deemed by many to be the first “social media revolution".
Millennials are often criticised for not being concerned enough with saving for the future or purchasing homes or cars. However, it’s not that they aren’t investing for their future; millennials are merely investing in radically different ways to the generations that came before. Instead of buying diamonds, they’re investing in things like Bitcoin, the 2009 cryptocurrency that is coming into its own lately. Bitcoin, like the millennial generation itself, was somewhat maligned in its infancy but people are gradually beginning to realise its unique advantages, such as a far greater transaction speed and security than conventional purchasing. Online gaming websites, for example, are therefore now able to offer blackjack with instantaneous pay-outs and a far lower risk of theft than a real-world casino, alongside other casino games that you can click to play for free. The convenience offered by the adoption of Bitcoin by such brands is further enhanced by the fact that it is arguably the safest currency to use online.
Be True to Themselves
Millennials have recently been heralded “the gayest generation”, with almost 7% identifying as part of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans) community. The same lack of concern for authority and entitlement to respect that they are criticised for also means they’re more ready than previous generations to move away from oppressive patterns of thought and traditions, such as heteronormativity. Millennials are less concerned than those that came before them with getting married or having kids just to fit in and are more likely to choose a path in life that suits them, or wait until they meet someone they truly love to start a famiy. While some people might be sad to see the world they know changing, in many ways this is a positive shift.