Millennials: Part 1 – Who Are They And What Do They Do?
Since 2010, the term ‘millennial’ has become one of the most popular buzzwords that writers use to sell their content. (How ironic). Despite this word’s over-usage and ‘click-baiting’ style of influence, there may actually be some justification behind the two extreme portrayals of this demographic of people. As it will soon be explained, Millennials are and will be the ‘next generation to take over’ what their parents have set up and as such they feel a profound sense of disparity between their own ambitions and projected expectations.
The term ‘Millennials’ is used to group those individuals born between the years 1980 and 1999 – meaning that they were either born or came of age before the turn of the new century. So why is this important in 2017? Firstly, it means that by the end of 2017, the Millennial demographic will be aged between 18 and 37 which is sometimes overlooked by reporting outlets because these are a person’s’ prime working years. Secondly, they are revolutionising the way modern business, living and communications are being carried out. And lastly, they do not feel obligated to uphold standards and expectations of the past.
Whilst there are plenty of other important reasons which have not been mentioned with each carrying their own merit, it is undeniable that current times have seen these three characteristics of Millennials be brought to the fore. Consider the continuing ‘start-up’/entrepreneurship movement which was born out of the presence of technology. Browse the news and try and ignore the numerous publications on a civil movement featuring a Millennial looking to change the world. And count the multiple success stories of young, Millennial entrepreneurs having developed a business or product that is in common usage today (e.g. Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram).
Drawing from his own experience as a Millennial in the business world, Balkin is shocked and frightened at the sheer lack of Millennials who are being consulted by businesses. He argues that today’s businesses will soon be transitioning their market bases over from Generation X and Baby Boomers (or whichever are before Millennials) as Millennials will soon be the largest spending and working demographic in history
However, with this ideal of changing the world through ‘non-conformity’, the Millennial identity has not wholeheartedly convinced older generations (X, Y and Baby Boomers). Phrases such as “an entitlement generation” and “special and alternative”, are fair observations of how Millennials behave and approach adulthood in the twenty-first century. With the digital age allowing millions (and even billions) of people who share a similar idea to connect with each other, the traditional methods of: self-expression, protesting, innovation have taken a new form of virtual influence which can never be deleted, and was dramatically demonstrated in recent international and political platforms and events. And with this realised power, Millennials are constantly testing the limits and their ambitions of what they can achieve.
This article is the first article in a three part publication on Millennials. It is interesting to note that although major media outlets have covered the topic of Millennials quite extensively since 2010, there is still a major understanding gap between Millennials and the rest of the world. Despite our best efforts, we can only hope that benevolent conflicts of ideas and values do not escalate into more serious matters which impact future generations.