Lately I’ve been intrigued in the scholarly articles circulating the web and my email about the characteristics of the last 3 generations. Baby Boomers, Generation X, and then our generation, Gen Y, all embody different qualities and flaws due to the social and technological advancements of their respective eras.
Gen Y are commonly referred to as the “Millenials,” and consists of those born anywhere between 1980’s-2000. The inherent qualities pertaining to our Gen Y’s are narcissism, rejection of social convention, and a desire for immediate satisfaction. Now these don’t appear as very flattering qualities on the surface, which inspired me to research the reasoning behind these appellations.
Thanks to our flourishing use of the internet and social media development during our youth, we have more selfish tendencies than those of our parents, the Baby Boomers, or Gen X. While many historical and political factors play a role in the traits of each generation, our use of- and dependence on- social media takes precedence over the Iraq War or any other societal-affair we have endured.
Our parents are known to be hard-workers and entrepreneurs (among other qualities) due to the hardships they suffered during World War II and the Vietnam War. Gen Y individuals haven’t been affected by a significant political impact as much as we have a digital one. Our use of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tumblr are how we define ourselves in the workplace as well as our social life. We send a tweet, and get tweeted back within the hour. We post on our friend’s wall when we can’t reach them by phone. We look up a company via their LinkedIn profile rather than their website. We hear about breaking news on our Twitter feeds, and most of us have never seen a newspaper land on our doorstep. We want immediate results, and thanks to our constantly-connected generation, we get them.
Whether these are good or bad qualities, it is the reality of our status quo. Therefore, in order to achieve success managing and working with our peers, we must learn how to operate in amanor conducive to the needs of our generation. Embracing these cognomens, rather than feel threatened by their negative connotation, is how we will successfully obtain satisfaction… even when it isn’t immediate.