The obsession with “millennials” continues to fascinate me. Despite being the most outspoken generation in history, people – very important and powerful people – claim they don’t understand us. We make no sense apparently, as if the actions and career paths of our parents make total and complete sense.
There are even consulting firms that specialize in teaching businesses how to interact with us (I refuse to link to them, Google if you dare). I wish I could start one of these and just talk about myself all day as a passion job, in the process becoming the very essence of a millennial.
A meta-millennial, perhaps.
More words have been spilled in the business press about this arbitrary agglomeration of people than any other, yet debates seem to go on endlessly.
That’s because there really is no debate, and there really is no such concept as “millennial.” If it wasn’t clear already, millennial values are American values, which is perhaps more obvious this week with the Supreme Court’s decisions around same-sex marriage, health care, andhousing discrimination, which were significantly more in line with millennial thinking than with the baby boom generation.
Millennials are a figment of our imagination, a delusion of marketers and others who believe that the changes in our society are only applicable to a narrow group of people rather than our whole population.
They’re completely wrong.
What’s happening is that people are finally taking advantage of all the technological progress we have made over the past few decades, finding empowerment in the world that was lacking before. We all now have the ability to choose our own paths – our own “passion careers” – and use technology to foster a better future, not just an elite sliver of the population with enough resources.
Unsurprisingly, everyone seems to be doing just that.
We can see technology’s influence on society everywhere. Millennials are described as more “socially conscious” than any other generation, but this is a function of our heavy use of technology, particularly social networks. People today have more access to news and opinion from the United States and around the world than ever before, and it shouldn’t be surprising that conflicts or diseases in other places have an emotional resonance with us that didn’t exist before.