A Millennial, for the argument of simple definition, is someone born between the years of 1977 and 2000. Much has been written in the media lately about this generation- particularly about the ire of others about the distinctive differences we seem to bring to the table. But while being a Millennial is often associated with more negative connotations, there are great things about us that make the future seem significantly more exciting, that shed a little hope and light in tomorrow. Here are some of them:
Millennials have a clear sense of identity. They are idealistic, altruistic, and optimistic.
There are many arguments about millennials having little or no direction and a sense of irresponsible spontaneity. However the truth is that collectively, this is a generation that believes that we have shared attitudes, beliefs, and experiences- that set us apart from generations before us, and band us toegether. There is a great sense of teamwork that stems from this notion, but also a sense of confidence that can sometimes be misconstrued as entitlement.
Furthermore, according to Generation Waking Up, an initative that aspires to ignite a generation of young people to bring forth a thriving, just, and sustainable world- 79% of millennials believe that this generation has better opportunities to evoke change than the generations before us. You can argue that even as we sometimes whine about lacking direction or a definitive goal- this stems from a need to be useful or make the world a better place. According to a study conducted by Walden University and Harris Interactive, 81% of Millennials have donated money, goods, or services.
Research is also showing a confident optimism in this generation. This is a sense of optimism that has survived despite major world events that have happened in our lifetime- including recessions, wars, and terrorism.
Millennials are Multitaskers.
If Charles Darwin were alive today, it is likely that he would marvel at the evolution of mankind’s mind- simply by observing your everyday millennial. What would appear as information or sensory overload to others is the millennial attempting to
go through a single day- going to school or work, making time to work out, fulfilling tasks, staying connected through social media, sometimes simultaneously. In the Millennial Generation Research Review of the US Chamber of Commerce, they point out the importance of Millennial Multitasking Redefinition.
Studies are showing that this generation is rewiring the brain by making it adept to multitasking without reducing the quality of output. On a cognitive level we can all say “our kids will thank us someday.”
Millennials are incredibly technology-savvy.
It’s no secret that we millennials have embraced technology as an integral part of our lives- this may be what sets us apart most from other generations. We have an impressive amount of information and computational power in our hands, and we certainly aren’t afraid to use it. Goldman Sachs calls us the first digital natives. 50% of Millennials grew up playing video games. 45% with internet and smartphones.
The White House Millennials Report discusses how this adept use of technology create entrepreneurial opportunities for Millennials who are inclined to put up their own businesses. It encourages creativity even through simple content- 46% of Millennials have posted something original that they themselves created.
We are masters of social media. 75% of millennials have at least one social networking site. We use technology as a main means of communication, and the literal networks established because of this are staggeringly impressive. 46% of millennials have at least 200 friends, and when you consider the magnification and expansion of a message through that medium, it’s pretty powerful.
Millennials are globally oriented and have the most progressive political orientation. (Generation Waking Up, 2016)
Globally, millennials are pretty progressive bunch when it comes to cultural and social values. This is best seen in the engagement of the youth in things like current elections (by 2020, 40% of the active electorate will be composed of Millennials), and issues about women, the LGBTQ community, and other groups that continue to rally against certain social injustices and inequalities. In the same study done in 2011 by Walden University and Harris Interactive, in a single year, among the social change activities Millenials had engaged in were signing or writing a petition (60%), fundraising for a cause (56%), or expressing an opinion on a positive social change by posting about it on social media (52%).
According to a study done by the US Chamber of Commerce, Millennials are the most tolerant of racial differences, compared to other generations. In the US, 45% also agree with giving preferential treatment to improve the conditions of minorities.
Millennials are changing the market in great ways.
The “Born This Way: US Millennial Loyalty Survey” done in 2012 shows that the Millennial afinity for technology is reshaping the retail space. When you’re able to pull up comparisons at your fingertips, you’ll be more inclined to chose brands that offer maximum convenience or quality at minimum cost. A strong, establish brand isn’t enough for a millenial to invest in a product.
According to a study done by Ipsos OTX in 2013, 63% of Millennials stay updated on brands through social media. We are less inclined to make purchases because of traditional advertisements, and more due to social media engagement. We are a generation that lives online, and is more inclined to buy online.
However our values are reflected even in our purchase patterns and choice of goods and services- 50% of millennials would be more willing to purchase something if the company producing it supports a cause. 37% of us would make these purchases even if they cost a little more. According to Millenial Marketing statistics, brands that stand for more than their bottom line have better Millennial acceptance. To the same source, “Useful is the New Cool.” We value brands that enhance our lives, and that of others.
Alex Abraham, Edelman Digital. By the Numbers-50 Facts about Millennials. Retrieved from: http://www.edelmandigital.com/2011/06/01/by-the-numbers-50-facts-about-millennials/ Retrieved on: June 20, 2016
Dan Schwabel. 74 of The Most Interesting Facts About Millennials. Retrieved from: http://danschwavel.com/blog/74-of-the-most-interesting-facts-about-the-millennial-generation/ Retrieved on: June 19, 2016
Generation Up. Millennial Quick Facts. Retrieved from: http://genup.net/about/ourgeneration/quickfacts. Retrieved on: June 20, 2016
Goldman Sachs. Millennials: Coming of Age. Retrieved from http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/pages/millennialsRetrieved on June 19, 2016
Marketing Charts Staff. Gen Y Engages in Social Change. Retrieved from http://www.marketingcharts.com/uncategorized/gen-y-engages-in-social-change-19352/. Retrieved on June 19, 2016
Millenial Marketing. Who Are Millennials. Retrieved from http://millennialmarketing.com/who-are-millennials/ Retrieved on June 19, 2016
US Chamber of Commerce. Millennial Generation Research Review. Retrieved from: http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/reports/millennial-generation-research-review. Retrieved on: June 19, 2016