I read an article today from TIME, Millenials: The Me Me Me Generation by Joel Stein. The first half of the article Stein uses data to discuss how lazy this generation is, and how consumed they are with their smartphones and social media. On average teenagers send 88 text messages a day. They have a nervous tick, constantly looking down at their phones and believing their phone vibrated in their pocket simply to check it once more.
Millennials are overconfident he also adds, and certainly are not camera shy. Posting photos from parties, with your friends and discussing life-events online give people this instant gratification and boost insecurities about one’s image and status in life… And, as many people over the years have mentioned, people are moving away from face-to-face interaction and instead socialize behind a computer screen.
Some people of the older generations target the Millennial as being unproductive and narcissist, while having high expectations and demands in their jobs.
But the last half of article makes some really interesting points about all of this.
As for the constant use of phones, the Millenials were born into all of this new technology being invented. Stein argues that if any other generation grew up during this time, they too would be sucked into it. It’s just like any other invention in history that people buy into. In fact, many of the older generations are indeed picking up these same habits as the Millenials: They, too, are getting smartphones and utilizing social media.
Stein argues the Millennial generation is not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, to follow their passions and make changes. If they are unsatisfied with something at work, they’re more likely to go right to the top to discuss their frustrations. With the support of technology, they desire stimulating and enriching work environments. No longer are we interested in working at a job that is unsatisfying to us simply to pay the bills and support a family.
For example, the article mentions how the majority of DreamWorks employees are under the age 30. During their workday they are able to take sculpture, painting, cinematography and karate classes.
They have a 96% retention rate.
This is a shift which I see happening down the road across all fields…
A shift that allows people to step outside their normal workspace and let their creativity flourish.
Reading this article also reminded me of a great book I read a few years ago, A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers will Rule the Future, by Daniel Pink.
In this book he discusses the four major “ages”:
1. Agricultural Age (farmers)—18th century
2. Industrial Age (factory workers)—19th century
3. Information Age (knowledge workers)—20th century
4. Conceptual Age (creators and empathizers)—21 century
I believe the Millennials have what it takes to flourish in this Conceptual Age. All it takes it acknowledging that the technology available today are valuable tools to solutions, not solutions themselves.
Below is an Unreasonable at Sea video interview with Jeff Hoffman. He spoke in my Entrepreneur Speaker Series last Fall, and I’m hoping to have another conversation with him soon…
Anyway, he talks all about finding and pursuing your passions. You’ll be much happier and more successful.
A few highlights:
You may not know how to do something, but that’s how it is at the beginning for everyone.
Team with people who are smarter than you, and who can do things that you cannot.