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After watching this 60 Minutes bit on The Age of Millennials, I thought to myself- oh great, apparently we are the doom of civilization. Being born in the 80’s lumped me into the Generation Y category, but I felt insulted when we were described as narcissistic praise-hounds that didn’t know how to cope with reality (and losing). We are apparently the Go Nowhere Generation, that would rather be on Facebook than get their drivers licenses and move out of state.
Just as Mad Men’s Jaguar episode doesn’t represent the automotive industry and where it is today, I’m here to say that this 12 minute segment doesn’t represent ALL of my generation. I agree with some things that were mentioned in this video, such as we do have it easier than our parents. My father for example, had to hitchhike in order to go to his college classes (took him about 2 hours to get to school) and he did this up until his Masters in Biology. I don’t think anyone would ever do such a thing nowadays.
Here’s a thought:
What this video and article failed to mention are the demographics behind the kids moving back in with their parents. If they are part of a collective culture, (Hispanic, Asian, etc.) this is seen as a norm. My mother would tell me that the girl wouldn’t move out of the house until they were married. I laughed at that statement, saying that wasn’t possibly true, but whenever my mother tells her friends that I bought my own condo and already moved out, they simply reply with, “Tan joven!” (so young).
But let’s get back to this “Go Nowhere Generation” label and disprove it (on my part at least):
When I turned 15, the first thing I did was get my permit. By 16, I had a part time job, a credit card (as per my father’s advice), was on the high school soccer team, and took AP classes. While in highschool I received a scholarship for school, and continued working throughout my whole college career. In my senior year of college, I had an internship at a non-profit, a part time job, and I went to school full time. I graduated debt free with no student loans.
Does that sound lazy? I didn’t want to move out of state because I grew up moving every 3-4 years and was tired of it. While in the process of buying my condo, lenders believed that I didn’t have good credit because I was so “young”. “Oh wow, you have great credit and you’re so young!” they would say. Is 24 too young to have good credit?
Don’t discredit me because I’m young and don’t discredit your young consumers either. We aren’t all going nowhere and we aren’t all glued to our cell phones and tablets. We do like to stop and smell the roses, and we notice there is a world outside of the Internet. So, as I’ve mentioned before in previous blogs, each customer is unique and you shouldn’t lump us all into a collective pot and treat us all the same.
What do YOU think? Is Gen Y the doom of civilization?