Thursday, November 08, 2007

Millenials In The New Millenium

Stop Picking On Us You Big Bully
By Kelly Lafarga

There has been a lot of recent buzz about the generation of the millennium, otherwise known as the echo boomers. Many articles, interviews, and just general studies have been completed on these youngsters. The general consensus is that they are heavily programmed, materialistic people who are driven by technology and yet don’t want to stand out on their own.

In a CBS 60 Minutes segment titled, “Echo Boomers” these “millenials” were heavily examined. "They have been heavily programmed. The kids who have had soccer Monday, Kung Fu Tuesday, religious classes Wednesday, clarinet lessons Thursday. Whose whole lives have really been based on what some adult tells them to do,” pediatrician Dr. Mel Levine says in the segment. "This is a generation that has long aimed to please. They've wanted to please their parents, their friends, their teachers, their college admissions officers."

This is true. The parents of these children were taught to put their children into after school activities. They were also told to put them in a variety of things so they can find what they like, their true calling. I was taken to dance lessons at three years old. Then piano and singing lessons were added to that. I ended up sticking with dancing and now I can say that I’m a professional and making money from it. I don’t know if I would be able to say the same thing if my mother never threw me into a bunch of activities when I was younger.

A lot of things parents did for their children was in response to how they grew up as baby boomers. Children inevitably aimed to please their parents because so much was expected of them. I wanted to make my mother proud and I think that’s what pushed me to improve in the beginning.

The people of this generation are also influenced heavily by technology. Instead of always watching television they occupy their time with dozens of other technological activities. Jane Buckingham is part of an intelligence group who studies people like this particular generation. "They're not watching the traditional networks as much because they have so many choices. They're playing on the Internet. They're playing video games," says Buckingham in the 60 Minutes segment.

Yes, it is true that the people of this generation are very dependent on technology. This doesn’t just mean the Internet and video games, but also cell phones, iPods and other gadgets that have been developed in recent years.

When people talk about how dependent we are on these things they have a kind of negative tone. It’s like they look down upon us for being materialistic. The truth is if it wasn’t for most of the people in the generations ahead of us we might not be so reliant on these things. The older generations are never satisfied with technology and are always trying to come up with a newer and better gadget. They push it onto our younger generations because they know we’ll probably buy into it. Then they advertise it until we’re almost sick of the things.

Sometimes we have to move forward and buy the newer products almost against our own will because the older ones aren’t even available anymore. Does anyone remember the VCR that played VHS tapes? I still own one, but if I want to rent a movie, only DVDs are available. My family held off buying a DVD player when I was younger for the longest time. We eventually had to buy one because VHS tapes were becoming obsolete.

“People can’t blame us for buying and becoming dependent on these new devices,” 23 year-old Carlos Gonzalez says. “Advertising is everywhere and there’s no way to avoid it.”

It’s ironic that the same people who are pushing all these new technologies on us are criticizing us for being dependent on them. Much of what this segment of 60 Minutes reported holds some truth. What bothers me and others in my generation the most is the way older generations almost look down on us for how we are and what we do. They are the ones who made us this way, whether it was our parents or the people selling us things.

Enough already with dissecting us and trying to figure us out. Just leave us alone. Remember, we’re the ones who will one day be deciding your health and retirement plans.

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