MILLENNIALS

September 18, 2016


One of my clients ask that I help him with structuring a web site and application software (APP) that addresses the wishes and needs of millennials. We are talking about finances, health-related issues, vacation sites, dietary concerns, etc etc.    I am the furthest thing from being in that age group.  Even our three children are somewhat older, so I had to do research to see just how these people are.  It’s proper to start with a definition.

DEFINITION:   The term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century. The precise delineation varies from one source to another, however. Neil Howe and William Strauss, authors of the 1991 book Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069, are often credited with coining the term. Howe and Strauss define the Millennial cohort as consisting of individuals born between 1982 and 2004.

Other proposed dates for Millennials:

  • According to Iconoclast, a consumer research firm, the first Millennials were born in 1978.
  • Newsweek magazine reported that the Millennial generation was born between 1977 and 1994.
  • In separate articles, the New York Times pegged the Millennials at 1976-1990 and 1978-1998.
  • A Time magazine article placed the Millennials at 1980-2000.

Overall, the earliest proposed birthdate for Millennials is 1976 and the latest 2004. Given that a familial generation in developed nations lies somewhere between 25 and 30 years, we might reasonably consider those the start and end points.

There is a great deal of variation from one individual to another within any generational cohort. Nevertheless, the particular environment for any generation affects those individuals in ways that are observable as broad tendencies. This definition of the term discusses those reported tendencies for Millennials in the workplace, Millennials and technology, Millennials and culture.  I suppose the actual dates given above sufficiently bracket the dates although I personally accept the dates given by Howe and Strauss because they “coined” the phrase.

CHARACTERISTICS:  If you are going to categorize and classify a particular group of people you need to do so with other that dates of birth.  Characteristics of the millennial class are typically taken as follows:

  • Fifty (50) percent of Millennials consider themselves politically unaffiliated. This I find to be really interesting but certainly lends itself to understanding why Senator Bernie Sanders became the poster-child for the millennial group.
  • Twenty-nine (29) percent consider themselves religiously unaffiliated. The percentage of individuals not professing affiliation has been dropping over the years.
  • They have the highest average number of Facebook friends, with an average of 250 friends vs. Generations X’s 200. This generation LIVES on social media.  They derive most of their news and information through social media sites.
  • Fifty-five (55) percent have posted a selfie or more to social media sites versus twenty (20) percent of Generation X.
  • Eight (8) percent of Millennials claim to have sexted, whereas thirty (30) percent claim to have received sexts. I think this is a horrible trend but apparently this is the manner in which “communication”, at least for some is carried out today.
  • They send a median of fifty (50) texts a day. From what I have seen this is grossly underestimate.
  • As of 2012, only nineteen (19) percent said that, generally, others can be trusted. This, to me, is truly sad and means they do not have individuals, for the most part, that can keep a confidence. Really sad!!!!!!
  • There are about seventy-six (76) million Millennials in the United States (based on research using the years 1978-2000).
  • Millennials are the last generation born in the 20th century.
  • Twenty percent have at least one immigrant parent.
  • Workplace satisfaction matters more to Millennials than monetary compensation and work-life balance is often considered essential.
  • Millennials tend to be skeptical about promotional material of any kind. Whether buying products and services or considering employment, Millennials are more likely to listen to their friends than to be affected by marketing or public relations material. This characteristic makes both conventional marketing and employee recruitment practices often ineffective for Millennials. This makes marketing a whole new ballgame for companies and advertisers.
  • Millennials grew up with computers, the Internet and the graphical user interface (GUI). This familiarity makes them adept at understanding interfaces and visual languages. They tend to adjust readily to new programs, operating systems and devices and to perform computer-based tasks more quickly than older generations. Although it’s been proven that multitasking is not usually an effective way to work.
  • Millennials may be the employees that are most likely to pull it off.  I find this to be fascinating.
  • The Millennials have shown in survey to have the least faith in the institutions of America. Conversely, they also show the highest support of political independents and protestor-formed governments.(Did I mention Bernie Sanders?)
  • Some say that Millennials are self-entitled narcissists. Generally, however, there does seem to be more of an emphasis on the self than in previous generations, one reason why this group has been called Generation Me.

 

SEVEN REASONS MILLENNIALS ARE THE WORST GENERATION: There are definitely those people who do not view the millennial generation as being the best, brightest and most energetic generation.  Here is what some feel this generation represents.

 

  • They Think Colbert Should Be President.According to the latest Fusion poll, Hillary Clinton handily defeats all comers among millennials. But their real preference is for Stephen Colbert, host of The Colbert Report, who spends his time playing a mock-up of the worst stereotypes about conservatives. Nineteen (19) percent of millennials say that they’d like to see him as president, versus seventeen (17) percent each for Jon Stewart and Tina Fey. Dave Chappelle clocks in at a competitive fifteen (15) percent.
  • They Don’t Know Anything About Politics.Seventy-seven (77) percent couldn’t name a senator from their home state, according to the Fusion poll. But they do love the government – fifty-seven (57 ) percent say that government is helpful rather than harmful. In fact, according to a Reason Foundation poll from 2014, millennials hate both political parties but somehow have a higher opinion of Congress than any other age group, and forty-two (42) percent favor socialism over capitalism.
  • They Don’t Know Anything About Money.According to a 2013 Bank of America/USA Today survey, millennials say they’re smart with their cash. They’re not. Over half admit they’re “living from paycheck to paycheck,” according to CNBC.com, and “many are still living with or living off their parents.” More than one in three still draw cash or resources from mom and dad. But one in three are also saving for vacations, and they’re saving for vacations rather than homes. But good news: over eighty (80) percent say they’ll be richer than their parents.
  • They Disproportionately Oppose Vaccination.According to a recent YouGov poll, young people oppose vaccination more than any other age group. One in five millennials believe that vaccines cause autism, a scientifically-disproven nostrum trotted out by idiots in Marin County. A plurality of millennials therefore believe that government should not mandate vaccinations for diseases like measles, mumps, and whooping cough, as opposed to large majorities of those of older generations who actually remember what the world was like when people died of polio.
  • They Smoke.These medical geniuses also smoke more than other generations. According to Ipsos, twenty-three (23) percent of millennials admit to smoking, more than thirty-five to fifty-four (35-54) year old’s or even those aged fifty-five (55+). More than one in three young people admit to hiding their cigarette use from others. Because they’re responsible and all.
  • They’re Lazy.2014 YouGov poll shows that sixty-nine (69) percent of Americans think those under thirty (30) are lazy. Even a majority of young people, fifty-percent (55) percent, say that their generation is lazier than past generations. Overall, thirty-one (31) percent of people aged 18-29 think adults over thirty (30) are harder workers than they are. Sixty percent of Americans think that millennials lack purpose. It’s hard to argue when millennials are still whining about student loans and Obamacare at age twenty-six (26), which is probably why fifty-seven (57) percent of people under thirty (30) agree that they lack purpose.
  • They’re High on Self-Esteem.Thanks to their perennial adolescence, helped along by parents, media, and government, millennials believe they’re smarter than they are, and certainly wait to involve themselves in social institutions like marriage, which would require them to stop being selfish jackasses. As sociologist Jean Twenge writes, millennials are uninterested in the society around them, less likely to help the environment, less likely to “say they wanted a job that was helpful to others or was worthwhile to society.” Twenge skews left, by the way.

GENERATIONS:  If we look at generations, we see the follow:

The Depression Era

Born: 1912-1921
Coming of Age: 1930-1939
Age in 2004: 83 to 92
Current Population: 11-12 million (and declining rapidly)

World War II

Born: 1922 to 1927
Coming of Age: 1940-1945
Age in 2004: 77-82
Current Population: 11 million (in quickening decline)

Post-War Cohort

Born: 1928-1945
Coming of Age: 1946-1963
Age in 2004: 59 to 76
Current Population: 41 million (declining)

Boomers I or The Baby Boomers

Born: 1946-1954
Coming of Age: 1963-1972
Age in 2004: 50-58
Current Population: 33 million

Boomers II or Generation Jones

Born: 1955-1965
Coming of Age: 1973-1983
Age in 2004: 39 to 49
Current Population: 49 million

Generation X

Born: 1966-1976
Coming of Age: 1988-1994
Age in 2004: 28 to 38
Current Population: 41 million

Generation Y, Echo Boomers or Millenniums

Born: 1977-1994
Coming of Age: 1998-2006
Age in 2004: 10 to 22
Current Population: 71 million

Generation Z

Born: 1995-2012
Coming of Age: 2013-2020
Age in 2004: 0-9
Current Population: 23 million and growing rapidly

CONCLUSIONS:  I think we ALL have something to give.  Let’s be kind to each generation and seek to understand where they are coming from.  Their thoughts, their dreams, their ambitions, etc etc.  We are ALL in this together.

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