Thursday, October 30, 2008

Millennials In The New Millennium

Generation Next
By Alex Catarinella

Imagine a world without the iPhone, a world without online networking sites such as Facebook, and a world without Internet blogs. If this doesn't terrify you, then you're most likely not an Echo Boomer.

Echo Boomers, also known as Generation Y or Millennials, born between 1980 and 1995, are mostly the offspring of Baby Boomer parents. And while some cannot yet vote, they are the most watched over generation in history.

According to the 60 Minutes report from 2005, "The Echo Boomers," this generation is the most sophisticated generation because of media, spends nearly $170 billion a year on their and their parent's credit cards, their parents are their best friends, and they were born in a time when people were studying kids and celebrating them. Essentially, they are "trophy children" and their "parents feel like they're holding a piece of Baccarat crystals."

As a result, parents fight for their children and praise them. This generation is the "now" generation and believes in instant gratification. Unlike their "egocentric Baby Boomer families," Echo Boomers are liberal, team workers, believe in diversity and won't settle like their parents did: They want their dream to come true, and won't take "no" for an answer.

On the other hand, 60 Minutes said in its report that aired two years later in 2007, "The Millennials," that Echo Boomers, while they are intelligent and tech savvy, want it "their way or the high way." In addition, Echo Boomers are unable to take criticism and co-workers must "talk to them like you're their therapist." They've "climbed Mount Everest but never punched a time clock" and priorities such as yoga class and vacation come before work. "The Millennials" blames parents for being too involved in their children's life as well as Mr. Rogers for calling everybody special without a reason.

London-based "Roxy Hartless" (her blogger alias), 22, writes for Ruby Pseudo, a blog that showcases Echo Boomers from around the world. It initially started for clients who wanted the perspective of young clever minds concerning "brands, trends, culture, new and interesting music, art and fashion, and loads of other stuff." She discusses her views of the Echo Boomers (a term in which she wasn't familiar, although she is classified as one) as being "massively important". She explains: "They're the savviest generation yet and one of the reasons they're so important as consumers is that so many brands just cannot get it right when they attempt to market to them."

Hartless says their tech savvy abilities "can get them 'round pretty much anything." She adds: "They find ways to not have to pay for things by knowing the right people and if they have to pay for something they'll find the quickest and easiest way to earn the money."

Still, as the first generation to grow up with computers, Hartless insists that this comes with the good and the bad. She says: "In some ways, their creativity and the way they live their lives has been made easier and more exciting. It's easier for anyone of that kind of age to do their own thing, make their own music, sell their own t-shirts online, and be a writer (on a blog)."

But on the other hand, according to Hartless, this computer-friendly, always-connected generation may be missing out on aspects of daily life such as "calling and seeing someone instead of writing on their Facebook wall, literally putting pen to paper, reading a book instead of an article online, taking photos and putting them on your bedroom wall not on your Facebook page."

Hartless believes there's a lack of privacy as a result of the digital world in which echo boomers live, and perhaps more importantly, in turn makes their lives "less exclusive."

The 60 Minutes "Millennials" report suggest that Echo Boomers have easy lives. Hartless agrees that there are perks of being an Echo Boomer. "I think Echo Boomers, especially young entrepreneurs and creative types, have the ability to have pretty lucky lives. I know so many people who get in everywhere for free, get free clothes, go partying and just live off social fame within sub-cultures. Some even get paid to go to the parties."

But, Hartless adds, despite this vacation-type description of the lives of Echo Boomers, they still work hard. "There's other people in the Echo Boomer bracket who work their arses off," Hartless quips. "Because of the availability to be what you want to be in the digital age, people have to fight to be the best at it. There are more opportunities to make something of yourself and therefore more competition when you finally make it."

Although this generation is the most studied generation to date, wishing to achieve the American Dream is not a new idea. So why is so much attention being focused on this generation as they follow their dreams? Hartless explains: "As corny as this sounds, they are the future generation. They're going to be running the world next."

Ruby Pseudo:


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