We are Generation Y (the millennials), we are right between Generation X (The boomers) and Generation Z. Every generation has a set of distinct traits that it is known for and I was thinking, what are we known for?
1. Social media. We love social media, it wasn’t around when we were really young but we were the first set of teenagers to experience its wonders. We went through: Bebo, MSN messenger and MySpace all before Facebook had even been born. Our teenage years were spent listing our friends in order of importance on Bebo, making our MySpace pages as emo as possible and chatting to that boy or girl we fancied on Msn messenger after school. As we got older so did social media, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are now forces to reckon with. Now, instead of listing our friends on Bebo we are talking politics on Facebook. Instead of making our Myspace pages as emo as possible, we are watching our favourite YouTubers make a positive impact on the world and we are a part of it. Instead of posting pictures on photo bucket and making our own websites on Piczo, we are uploading pictures of our food on Instagram and writing successful lifestyle blogs on WordPress (ahem).
2. We want change, but do we? Like almost every generation before us, we desperately want change. It can come in many forms: social change, cultural change, economic change. What are we doing about it? Well we love to talk about, we write about it (I feel the irony), we post about it on social media and we argue with each other about it. But what are we actually doing? Words mean very little if they aren’t backed up by action. Statistics show that young people are less likely to vote in elections despite the growing voice of young people for politics. We are talking about change but why isn’t that translating into action? What if, for all our talk of change, for all our Facebook politics we were to actually get up and act to make change for a better world? Whatever you stand for: Gender equality, animal rights, political change, get up and take action. We are very fortunate in our part of the world and in our time that we actually have the power to do that. Whilst I believe that social media can change the world, I also believe that if we truly want to make an observable difference we have to act as well as write well thought out Facebook updates 😉
3. Busy : If there is one thing we love to be it’s busy. Busy in work, busy with our friends, busy online, busy with our thoughts. We are ambitious and eager to learn yet hell bent on still having fun and enjoying our lives. We are a generation that wants more than just the 9-5.
4. We love to complain: For all the good that we do and all the amazing things people of our generation are creating we do love a good moan: whether it’s about the weather, work or more of an existential complaint. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing as voicing negativity can only lead to positive change (there’s that word again) We are extremely lucky that we now live in a society that allows us these complaints and gives us the freedom to not only act upon them but make them better… Except the weather of course, I mean it’s July people, where is the sun?
5. Life takes time: Sixty years ago things were very different, the status quo has changed a lot since then. You went to school, university if you were lucky, you got a job, got married and that was it. Society has changed and adapted since then; young people have far more choices and we are gifted with more time to make those decisions. We are different from people before us in that we are allowed the time to feel confusion and misdirection. We can flirt our way through life, playing with different career choices until we settle on one. Ultimately I think this makes us more productive however I do believe that there is a certain amount of apathy linked to our generation due to the sheer volume of choices we have to make early on in our lives and careers. We could let the weight of the world drown us, but we won’t right? Because we’re millennials and we’re here to change the world…
This article is drawing on personal experience of people of my own generation. Of course we are a diverse group full of different people from all walks of life however in my experience we do have certain things in common. Ultimately I think our generation will do a lot of good for the world. We are more socially conscious, more open minded in many ways, more eager to learn the truth and more ambitious than ever.
What will you be known for?
Stay Strong xoxoxo