In the beginning of the 1980s, a new species was born out of the post-World War cryogenic stasis. A progeny of Apple’s iconic 1984 ad, who were old enough(more or less) to own a legal account on Facebook when it was launched. A turn of the century terminology-The Millennials, or(as the conservatives like to call it) Generation Y, has come to denote the populace of peoples of the world that are young adults in this juncture in time.
It is one of the trending pastimes of this epoch to indulge in millennial bashing, whose poster faces include the phlegmatic Justin Bieber, professional twerker Miley Cyrus and that blue-eyed boy from Home Alone who’s into drugs now, among others. Much has been said about Gen Y’s prodigal ways, aimless aspect and their inability to commit to careers, relationships and religion.
Also, this generation being the first to grow up with nascent technologies, they are the first community in a global society of digital natives. They were there when the music tuned itself from Walkmans to iPods; they watched Cartoon Network transition from Flintstones and Addams Family to Ben 10; they are the last people who know of a world without smartphones.
For a bunch of kids who grew up in financial security of self-made Baby Boomer parents, who imposed their wiser world view, the recession in the late-2000s was a litmus test of sorts. Coming of employable age in those turbulent times, when pink slips were the order of the day and college recruitments were at an all-time low, the generation had to adapt to a more resourceful lifestyle.
“They cramped our style…”
Millennials are often portrayed as ego-centric spoilt brats who live off their parents’ money. Though this statement has some basis in truth, it is callous to dismiss a whole generation as wasters. Generations of young people have been known to slack but then, older people aren’t particularly reputed for a hundred percent efficiency. It is a social bias to view youth as arrogant, lazy people but by what birth right did the millennials earn the wrath of the world so?
The guillotine of failed economies is hanging over the heads of the wretched generation, who are victims of circumstance. The world looked rosy for Gen Y before the recession of 2008 and ever since, instinctive wisdom led them into a nuovomondo involving a deep mistrust of banks and big corporations, spending more on experiences, relying on technology for day-to-day activities and a cheerful hope for the future (like only youth can).
The millennials have been nicknamed the Peter Pan generation because of their reluctance to fill the well-trod dime shoes of previous generations of working men and women, because of their unwillingness to contribute to the empty nest syndrome. This is viewed as a prudent decision by some because gambling out of one’s wallet has not really paid off the past few years. Jobs do not pay well and there is no security in industry. Splurging on materialistic opulence has taken a back seat in favour of the opera house of experiential dimension. If one were to put in a nutshell the life philosophy of today’s youth then the first thing that comes to mind is YOLO, a millennial corruption of the eternal aphorism ‘carpe diem’. YOLO is an acronym for You Only Live Once, which is a reference to another eternal aphorism ‘Man lebt nur einmal!’, which is a waltz by Johann Strauss II and that title is in turn a quote from Goethe’s 1774 play Clavigo.
For the benefit of non-millennials, that was a snarky!
Millennials are smarter when it comes to spending their bucks; one could almost call them ‘informed consumers’. Seventy two percent of millennials use the internet to check product reviews according to an article by Giselle Abramovich, Senior and Strategic Editor of CMO.com. Nearly 50 percent of millennials say they regularly browse for items that they do not necessarily plan on buying. Thirty-six percent say they only buy items they deem necessary–for which one-third are willing to pay full price.
e-shopping is a cheaper alternative to buying from stores and showrooms. Discounts offered by major e-commerce sites are astronomical and often makes the decision of buying a no-brainer. Millennials have fuelled this trend with their goal of savings and frugality.
Meanwhile in Bangalore, an app called Dealocx has been launched that gives its users personalised discounts from their favourite cafes, pubs and restaurants. Apart from using the app to avail of these offers, credit points in the form of casino-style ‘chips’ are awarded on each transaction. The chips can be redeemed for further discounts on mobile recharges, online shopping and event tickets. The features of apps like Dealocx show that the market is catering to demands of a resurgent and vibrant population.
The present holds promise in the future for millennials. This reflects directly on the global economy which is in recovery mode, and there are no limits to the potential that this great generation could grow to.
Peace and love!