It’s always been “Damn young people these days” out of the Mouths of Age.
“The world is passing through troublous times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.”
—Peter the Hermit, 1274 (!)
We all know that, and yet every generation seems to be quite different from the previous ones, hand in hand with the evolution of humanity.
Recently many articles have been written about the so called Millenials (birth rates from the early 80s to the early 2000s)- I have summarized what I found interesting and made my conclusions.
Jean Twenge, the author of the 2006 book Generation Me, considers Millennials along with younger Gen Xers to be part of what she calls “Generation Me”. Twenge attributes confidence and tolerance to the Millennials but also a sense of entitlement and narcissism based on personality surveys that showed increasing narcissism among Millennials compared to preceding generations when they were teens and in their twenties.
So what do we know about these new people so far?
1.Millennials are the first generation to have a global identity and not a national identity.
2. Every generation has been the “Me” generation at some point. The only major difference now is that millennials have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to highlight their me-ness.
3. Millenials say: “The olds are calling us narcissistic because we don’t worship children or the corporate workplace, two American religions based on the morality of self sacrifice. We also are extremely well versed in social bullshit and prize self-awareness. We play with that and it looks like narcissism. It’d be more accurate to call us the Theater Generation.”
4. Millenials say: “At any rate, what looks vapid to the outside eyes is really just the self-promotion we HAVE to do in order to get jobs and keep them. What looks like Special Snowflake Syndrome to the outside eyes is really just how we’re trying to stick out in a terrible job market. What looks like laziness and lack of commitment (all those stats about how we are not marrying and not having kids) is the huge economic insecurity we’re all living with.”
5. At a time when our society is in total tilt, the emergence of a paradigm shift centered around joyfulness is a phenomenon that we should be paying serious attention to. This isn’t just a hippie ideology reincarnated in millennial “entitlement.” Joy is an economic force that makes sense. Innovative companies are expanding their definition of profit and are making tangible investments and partnering with groups such as the Kantian Advisors, a consulting firm established by millennial co-founders Alexandra Douwes and Nellie Morris to help integrate purpose in their work because all signs suggest that purpose is the future (source: here)
6. Millennials are sometimes referred to as the Peter Pan Generation, because of the members’ perceived penchant for delaying some rites of passage into adulthood, longer periods than most generations before them. These labels were also a reference to a trend toward members living with their parents for longer periods than previous generations. Many Millennials are delaying the transition from childhood to adulthood as a response to mistakes made by their parents. “In prior generations, you get married and you start a career and you do that immediately. What young people today are seeing is that approach has led to divorces, to people unhappy with their careers … The majority want to get married […] they just want to do it right the first time, the same thing with their careers.
7. Generation MeMeMe has led a trend towards irreligion that has been growing since the 1990s. It also found that a third do not believe in any god and that 41% thought religion causes a lot of evil in the world.
8. Since millenials do not respect authority, they are not outraged by it. That is why they are the first non-riotin teenagers. «MTV has always been a territory free from the parents, -says the president of MTV Stephen Friedman, which now includes parents in almost each of his shows. – One of our studies showed that today’s youth delegate its superego to parents. Even when it comes to the simplest decision – our audience seeks advice from mom and dad. ”
9. Millenials use their communication advantage to knock out the best conditions for themselves to work with traditional institutions. Harry Stiteler, who is recruiting since 15 years into the U.S. Army sincerely admires millenials:
“When I first started watching recruits, it was a generation that had to be constantly told what to do. But a new generation understands everything else before you opened your mouth. They are three or four steps ahead. They come in and say “I will do this, and then I’ll do that, but then I want to do also this and that “.
10. Millenials are persistent and optimistic. They are thinkers, rather than dreamers, they are Life hackers. They have no leaders, and that’s why Tahrir Square and Occupy Wall Street had even less chance for success than any of previous revolutions. However they can be dangerous to the establishment because they don’t believe in it.
11. Psychologists agree on one thing: millenials are sweet. They are friendly and positive. In the recent decade they changed the emotional content of Internet! Internet has always been 50% positive, 50% negative. But today, the ratio of 90 to 10 in favor of the positive.
By reading all that and corresponding it to my experience with this generation (which i am not part of :)) I came up to two main points:
The Millenials are collective and not interested in power, they are not keen on leaders and politics. That is highly interesting because all previous generations starting from Baby boomers seem to have come to break down the System, to riot, to change the whole world order in a dramatic or even aggressive way. The Millenials seem to be much more peaceful and positive.
After the Warrior-archetype of the Baby Boomers, the Millenials are clearly a Child-Archetype, they are infantile and sweet, seeking the true joy and friendship. They are not such desperate seekers as we have been. Are they born already with the Knowledge of Truth?
Whatever it is, if these are people who will run the world community in 10-20 years then we will most probably live in a happier world!