The term millennial can seem hard to understand at first, but it is actually quite simple. There are six generational gaps, which include The Greatest Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y and millennials. All generations differ from each other and have certain characteristics that make them special. Millennials, people born in from 1981 to early 2000s, are very unique because they do not tend to follow society’s standards and instead are introducing new ideas and reshaping the world for the better. They are the new trendsetters, becoming more educated, culturally diverse and more mutually understanding than any other generation before them. This generation is not comprised of followers, but leaders.
When millennials are discussed, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a generation of spoiled, selfish individuals. While there is a tendency to have some sort of resentment toward younger generations, millennials are no exception to these traits.
The prominent presence of internet in millennials’ daily lives contributes to their entitled nature. According to Oxford University’s Internet Institute, the younger generation views their identity on the internet as the determining factor to identity in real life. Millennials are wrapped up in social media, trying to appear superior compared to peers. This requires them to solely focus on building up their identities as well as their egos.
Now that the standard of living has reached a point where most Americans can maintain a healthy lifestyle, parents tend to spoil their children. Dan Kindlon, research psychologist specializing in behavioral problems of children and adolescents, interviewed more than 1,000 parents and found that 60 percent of surveyed parents thought their kids were spoiled. Millennials receive more than they actually need, which causes them to become accustomed to the idea that the world revolves around them. This rising sense of entitlement shapes them into the people seen today.
Millennials have been labeled with conceited characteristics. Although that may not represent the generation as a whole, it is still a firm part of the identity of a millennial.
Watching Baby Boomers and Generation Xers distastefully talk about millennials, the divide between the older generation and teenagers today is recognizable, but what comes to mind when the older generation talks about millennials? Baby Boomers encompass the people born in 1946 to 1964 and Generation X people are born in 1965 to 1980. There are several stereotypes surrounding all these categorized generations, mostly based on historical background.
Many Baby Boomers had largely successful careers, with money, title and recognition. Having lived after World War II and during the Vietnam and Cold War, Baby Boomers are typically anti-war. They are fervent about their rights, and feel entitled to “The American Dream.” Since they are largely career-based, there is a conflict between retired Baby Boomers and millennials. Several minimum wage jobs have gone to Baby Boomers for their experience, leaving behind millennials trying to pay for education.
On the other hand, people of Generation X pride themselves in their self-reliance and pragmatism. Although, to many, they seem skeptical or even cynical compared to millennials. Generation X people are often seen as ambitious with high job expectations. They also have high rates of divorce, which could be attributed to their own independence.
With advances in technology, millennials are more technologically equipped, which makes their lives more convenient. To many elders, this translates to shorter attention spans and dependency. However, the younger generation does get credit for being a more accepting society with increasing attention to civil and LGBT rights. Bear in mind, these stereotypes should not be used to solely characterize one individual. Still, it is helpful to take generational differences into consideration when looking at modern culture.
Making the World a Better Place With Millennials
The millennial generation is full of people with amazingly open minds. They give back to their population and spread their creative ideas to create a better future.
Brittany Wenger is a 22 year-old girl who is an inspirational millennial. She managed to develop a computer that detects cancer. She was recognized by TIME magazine as someone who is changing the world in a positive way. Her computer system is a way to detect and diagnose leukemia. It uses a thin needle to test lumps under a patient’s skin for cancer.
Matthew Monos is a 28 year-old man who believes in creating movements for pro bono services. When Monos realized the alarming fact that the U.S. nonprofits spend $8 billion on domestic marketing alone, he created a service called Be Very Nice in 2013. With his work he made it easier for social enterprises, startups and nonprofits to use money previously spent on marketing and design to make their causes more successful.
Maurya Couvares is a 22 year-old who teaches disadvantaged children to code. She is the co-founder and executive director of ScriptEd which is a non profit organization that teaches young students about computer programming and then places them in technology-based internships. She hopes to teach as many kids as she can in computer programming so they can create better lives for themselves.
1) An estimated 49 percent of millennial voters voted for Hillary Clinton while only 21 percent will voted for Donald Trump
2) Millennials are the most racially diverse generation
3) Millennials are the most educated generation in American history with over 63 percent having a Bachelor’s Degree
4) Only about one-fourth of the millennials in the US are married