Talking About My Generation: Millennials

Millennials are people born between 1980 – 1995. Here are the characteristics of millennials:

  • 80 million total
  • tech-savvy multi-taskers (81% use internet wirelessly)
  • Self-centered (as children we were told that we are special & unique – thank you Mr. Rogers)
  • resourceful (google is a part of our daily vocabulary)
  • Brand ourselves (through social networking sites)
  • Most ethnically & racially diverse (14.2% of us are black)
  • Politically progressive (we voted Obama over McCain 66% – 32%)
  • Least religious
  • 54% have some college (most formally educated generation)
  • 83% of us sleep with our cell phones

Millennials – we share the common bond of the dot.com boom, the racial tensions of OJ Simpson, Rodney King and the LA Race Riots. We witnessed the earth shattering/paradigm shifting experience of 9/11 and are now knee-deep in an economic recession.

We value our lifestyle and friends over career/money. We are idealistic and look at the world as we wish it were rather than how it actually is and we are self-actualized.

But on the other side – these are some of the negative characteristics of our generation.

– Our reliance on technology can make us socially awkward and anxious (we can be detached & withdrawn).

– Our resourcefulness and education can make us arrogant and pompous (we believe that we have the solutions to most problems).

– Because we are so used to praise, it can be difficult for us to take criticism (constructive or otherwise)

– We are the least religious generation (which may be a by-product of the formal education). But we pray just as often as previous generations so we are not atheist, we just do not subscribe to structured religious doctrine.

– Although diverse and progressive, we still pretty much segregate ourselves in social settings.

– Our blind optimism leads us to indifference and apathy at times and we sometimes lack the independence necessary to succeed (can be overly reliant on outside advice and external factors/pressures).

If you’d like to read more about Millennials, check out this piece from the Pew Research Center: http://pewsocialtrends.org/assets/pdf/millennials-confident-connected-open-to-change.pdf

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