Why We Should Look To Millennials To Guide Us Into The Future
Many people fear for the millennial generation, believing they have been plagued by technology and social media. In reality, the Millennials may be better off than any other generation. They have created new ideas and ways of using the present world and we should all look to them for guidance for the future.
Millennials have taken to using their own ideas for income instead of waiting to rise to the top of their work (Business News Daily). According to an LA Times article from recent years, the U.S. economy is the lowest it’s been in a very long time. It is extremely difficult for millennials to get good jobs out of college, even with qualifications, because years of experience are usually required, but they don’t have to be. A survey showed that 45% of millennial women felt underpaid, and 41% felt they weren’t able to fully express their ideas (Business News Daily). This creates a need for millennials to go independent, thus creating more ideas in the world, more companies, more opportunities, more initiative, and helping the economy while also ridding of underutilization in the workplace. Though independence is trending, the millennial generation is referred to as the ‘we’ generation, while previous generations are referred to as the ‘me’ generation (LA Times). Each person having their own individual ideas brings us closer together economically as everyone needs the product of someone else’s specialty. This is an ideal that should be praised and guide us into future America.
Community is more important than ever in the millennial generation. Occupations and hobbies such as music, food exploration and art are becoming increasingly popular (LA Times). These activities include a strong sense of community and desire for cultural appreciation. As artistic subjects are becoming entrepreneurial occupations, community is needed to create connections and audiences. I see this take place on my instagram everyday, and have even tried it myself. Artists and musicians can now become famous through the internet, branching out, making communities and creating movements. The ‘big-bad’ internet has been extremely helpful in creating jobs, connecting and inspiring people to do what they want to do and not fit into one of societies funnels. Director of polling at Harvard says, “I do sense that public service, community service is in their DNA.” (LA Times). Perhaps technology is not ruining our generation, but boosting it to an admiral level, thus promoting underlying empathy, helpfulness, inspiration and initiative.
Millennials also value experience over material, a recent report states (thewisemarketer). Many say that this will destroy our retail-driven economy, but maybe that is best. Our retail-driven economy is only promoting consumption and the dulling of our own imaginations and inventive natures. Our experiences make us who we are, so the value of that must not diminish. The baby-boomers are helping millennials out with taking down the materialistic views Gen-X and Gen-Y have put into place. In 2014, people aged 65+ in the U.S. spent roughly $40.6 billion on travel-related activities (thewisemarketer). We must keep moving forward with our experience-based views, as the buzz effect will last a lifetime as opposed to a few months. After all, millennials have been stated ‘The most impactful generation since the baby-boomers’ (LA Times).
Although millennials have been accused of ruining industries such as publishing and music (thewisemarketer), maybe they are simply changing it for the better. They have also been named the most coddled and spoiled of generations (LA Times), which may be true, but it also may be why millennials have such empathy for others and such community-based minds. The downside to this transition in economic views is the years of debt millennials will have to face before these methods become normalities. Loans, broken marriages, and couch surfing are very real and common side effects of this very worthwhile economic shift.
We should all be looking to the millennials now. They are the ones who have grown up in the culture past generations have created for them, and they are dealing with it in the most interesting, innovative and beautiful ways. These ways are to be celebrated and praised. We all need to see the positive end of this bumpy road and agree that it is for the better to embrace the methods of entrepreneurship and artistic occupations using the tools of social media and community.