As I think about “the generation of the millennials”, I ponder over the changes that they have gone through since the last, umm, Xennials. The period that defines the millennials is if they were born between 1981-1996/1997. Well, welcome then. I am not going to point out the flaws and the lacuna or degradation. I am in this with all of you. But, I think it’s about time we look into this. Since Gen Z is making way to us already, let’s see what the last generation had to offer us.
With the passing years, came the invention of new technology, people started discussing online when to meet off-line, unlike the previous generation, career options opened up, parents became friends, “feminism” came in full form, the concept of stay-at-home dads became normal and people were more open about discussing things that were once a hush-hush.
Lazy became the new cool and thus, the millennials were good at creative problem-solving. They found the easy roads to reach where they wanted to be and smart techniques to achieve their goals. The technology was surely a great part of this new change. Believing and trusting whatever was served to them on their plates was really not their cup of tea. They started looking for answers, they wanted to know the truth and delve deep before making a decision. They challenged the stale, old beliefs and made way for a fresh, new start. Opinions were valued, stands were taken. A change was required, people signed petitions online. Charities, at a click of a button. Compassion, progressive thinking, pragmatism, individualism, and authenticism became their ideals.
Of course, there was another side to the coin, too. As the thirst for knowledge, power, and rights started to take new forms, the millennials were exposed to new facets of emotions. Already prevalent feelings such as depression and anxiety were given recognition, understood and people became more empathetic. Social media paved the way to vulnerability and exposure. This led to people being forced to come out from the shadows and deal with it. People were exposed to feelings of disapproval, judgments (even by strangers), social anxiety and the list goes on. The erraticness of the whole situation created chaos in the young minds even more and reading of self-help books and the concept of seeking help from a shrink became okay.
The ability to communicate more easily and efficiently also had its downsides. People were into more “open” relationships and cheating in relationships became easier. I wouldn’t say this was a characteristic of this generation, though. Earlier, people just probably didn’t find out. But, as I said, the communication gap decreased and revelations were made easier. Heartbreaks became the norm and people turned cold and distant due to trust issues and emotional unavailability. Social media flooded with posts related to broken hearts and loss of faith in the good became the new “cool”.
Things to take home.
So, even though the generation of the millennials is a little screwed up in its own way (Well, who isn’t?), they have a lot of things to pack in their bags and take home. It is not easy to deal with vulnerability and constant shaming on the internet, it is not easy to put your stand out there and be demeaned for it, it surely takes a lot of courage to do something because your individual self is calling for it and not what the orthodox rules have dictated to you so far. And, I am pretty glad that the millennials, who have been exposed to this new technology surge, have carried it well and to the best capacity of themselves.
Millennials know how to handle a situation with witty remarks and sarcasm, and create comedy out of troublesome situations. They know what self-love and self-care are and how to implement it with more generosity towards oneself. They know that Netflix is an escape and sleep doesn’t come easy and that mental health is as important as physical health and being single is okay. Millennials know that love can happen with anyone, at any time and at any place. They know love has no boundaries. They exude confidence and respect privacy.
The generation of the millennials have stepped up as a role model for the upcoming generations to follow and there are so many things to learn from them, mistakes and otherwise. My best wishes for Gen Z.