Friday, April 07, 2006

Millenials In The New Millenium

Can You Feel the “Buzz” Of The Echo Boomers?
By Ryan Trostle

With a generation coming of age that puts word of mouth supreme, how does our consumer society react and adapt to accommodate the new echo boomers? Some experts are saying that it is easier than we might think. The $170 billion a year buying power that this generation has, is starting to raise some eyebrows as companies look for ways to expand their income. Not surpirisingly, companies like Toyota launched an entire new car division to face the fresh out of college echo boomers.

Word of mouth has become one of the most important concepts in the new campaigns. Putting sexy hats and clothing on stars like Ashton Kutcher and Paris Hilton have not only sparked entire clothing lines, but also obsessions with trucker hats in general. What is the best way to get your product sold? Make sure that the echo boomers have heard about it.

Echo boomers are the generation that was born between 1982 and 1995, which makes this age bracket 80 million people or one-third of the United States population. Echo boomers are not the same generation that we have watched throughout our nation’s history. They are already the most studied generation in history. Growing up in a world of constant connection, many professionals are wondering how this is going to affect them later in life.

Is the constant connection helping Generation Y, or are they not independent enough? Since the echo boomers birth they have been constantly busy with different activities planned for them each day of the week. They never really got a break and the moment they got home, it was 500 television channels and computers everywhere.

Not only is this generation the most studied ever, but also they are also the most diverse. Thirty-five percent of the echo boomers are non-white, and they are the most tolerant generation ever, most believing that everyone should be apart of the community. Maybe this generation is on to something. Violent crimes among teenagers are down 60 to 70 percent. Teen pregnancy and the use of tobacco and alcohol are at all time lows. Could this very well be the perfect generation?

“Sometimes, they don’t know what to do if they’re just left outside and you say, ‘Well, just do something by yourself for a while’, says historian and generation scholar Neil Howe, in a CBS 60 Minutes report, who says echo boomers are very different from their parents. For instance, they are not nearly as self-absorbed and egocentric. From this it all sounds like the baby boomers are interesting indeed. Not only interesting, it seems that there going to do wonders beyond what their parents have accomplished. Don’t be too sure of this yet.

I think this argument is interesting, and I think parts of it resonate and hold true. There are still some things that I would argue against the echo boomers. Independence is a concept that can be helpful and hurtful. I am not completely sure if working independently is the only answer, but it does seem to help in times. I could never imagine having to writing a paper with another person.

The echo boomers are always connected, and in my opinion this is a helpful and thriving community that takes care of its own. Though they may not be as independent, they are making history as to advances in consumerism. We live in a consumer culture, the echo boomers wouldn’t be an issue if we didn’t.

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