Surfing on the net today I got caught over a nice article on Millennials. I was interested in knowing more about these, who are born between 1980 to say 2000. They are also called as Generation “Y”, because they are in between the just gone, Generation “X” and preceding Generation ”Z”..!!
I am fortunate to meet these, through my profession which allows me to interact with Young PhD students, Master students, and an ensemble of young people in fitness regime of mine and in social circle. Why are these people special? Well, they are related to the time-frame in which they are born and the global circumstances which have made them what they are..!!
Wikipedia says that : “The characteristics of millennials vary by region and by individual, and the group experiences a variety of social and economic conditions, but they are generally marked by their coming of age in the Information Age, and are comfortable in their usage of digital technologies and social media.”
Well, I agree..this generation has seen most of the digital disruption. They have also seen the changes in medium of social communication. They have witnessed the economic and political scenario changes to highest degree. These are the people who are born to a generation of people who had secured jobs, had “so-called” peaceful families and a steady life. Being a child, they have seen a comfortable house owned by their parents, couple of self-owned vehicles and farm houses. They have seen steady income in the family which has allowed them to buy digital gadgets very easily. During this time-frame itself, social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap-chat and LinkedIn have come in. Created by their earlier generation and used by Millennials!! Traffic on the roads has increased tremendously and government jobs have gone down. This generation has grown up seeing the cut-throat competitions in educational system, admission difficulties in the colleges and drastic drops in the “permanent” jobs..!! I have known people from previous generations who have worked with “Telco” for their entire life…!! Well this has gone now..!! Jobs have become volatile… and this generation has actually faced the heat of these critical changes.
Let us see how they have grown and coped up. With increasing nuclear families and also traffic on the roads, all children have been given a mobile phone by their parents.. they have not “chosen” a mobile device, but they have been “given”. For the security of a child on roads and also for parents to know that they “reached safe”!! Now, getting hooked to that device is but natural, because the devices became smarter and interactive. Traffic on roads has prevented children from outdoor activities. With both parents working, naturally, the child is more on the “internet” than on a cricket ground.. again, not the choice of the child, but an restriction of the surroundings. Welcome to the virtual world, then, again, naturally..!! Social network friends, posts, boomerangs, story posts and so on.. well, they have been given these by the digital giants and Millennials are using these.. Government jobs are scarce, company and industry situation is highly volatile and they are born in the era of entrepreneurship… Well, they would mold differently from “Generation X”.. Let’s think more..
If they have seen a bad job situation, around the globe, the concept of a “secured job” will naturally evaporate from their minds. They could well think of “self employment”… which is very good for them, and hence for the nation!! Well, at family level, they have seen the struggle of their parents, their running around to bring the child up, their dependencies on maids and older family members.. If I were to be in the shoes of a teenager, now, I would ask myself, is this necessary at all? Why have an extension of family and keep running around to help them grow.. Anyways, I am not going to have pension in my life, why not earn more in the best times and enjoy my limited life.. well, works well with Millennials! Mind you, they are much brave and smart to make their choice and execute it boldly, which was not so with those born before 1980s. The reason: the freedom; which was limited then.
Now for the properties and assets… Again, welcome to the digital world and new mobility.. With Uber and Ola services, one would not buy a car and maintain it. If someone is maintaining it, and is also making it available to me whenever required, I am good..!! I do not worry about taxes, licences and insurances. Same is true for houses as well. The time we have in life is indeed limited. One can pursue many things and live happily and cheerfully!
And just observe the social circle around. New social clubs are being set in a big way, mountaineering clubs, astro-clubs, running buddies club, fitness gyms, conversation clubs, Karaoke groups and so on. New concept of “family” is evolving, which is good… One need not have a single family, but more than that, and hence you evolve socially.. Are we going back to the social-living, which humans did centuries ago… a profound thought and needs deeper analysis..
There are flip sides to this generation too. They are often named as “selfish” and “self-centered”. The old-age homes are increasing (but we should remember that day-care centers for children were also increasing few decades back..). The relationships between men and women are increasingly becoming complex and sometimes, isolation grips in.
But to end this note, I would say that I love this generation of Millennials. They are more expressive, bold, strong, self-reliant and have independent thought process. They have few limitations and flaws, but the system has induced these in them.. we need to understand before we comment on them.
I always see budding enthusiasm and eagerness to excel, in the younger generation.. and hence “un-settled” is a new “settlement” for Millennials..!!