Can’t communicate well, narcissistic, addicts of technology. Disappointments. That is primarily the description I get when the subject of Generation Y comes up in conversations.
How do I feel about this?
Before exploring this statement, we must first define what Generation Y is. This generation of individuals are also known as the Millennials and are categorized as people who were born from early 1980’s to the early 2000’s. Individuals of this generation grew up with an idea that with hard work and perseverance, they can achieve all their dreams in all areas of life. Compared to the past generations, Generation Y individuals tend to value individualism vs. group effort, liberal worldviews instead of conservative, and fulfillment of their ideal goals over security and consistency. One additional aspect of being a Gen Y is that we grew up with technology advancement; this changed how we communicate and it is probably because of this fact that other age groups tend to label us for our lack of communication.
While researching this topic, there were many articles that I stumbled on and most of them were about how Gen Y people tend to live in their own surreal world with unrealistic dreams and nonsense. Some articles talked about the dangers of hiring Gen Y’s in the workplace and how to deal with them. A few articles highlighted the causes of how and why these stereotypes were formed, followed by why they are true. And most articles had research to conveniently prove their analysis.
So how do I feel about this?
I can only speak from my life experience and the day to day living with my peers. First of all, I must admit that some of these statements are true. For one, individualism or the act of differentiating oneself is a very prominent feature in my peers and myself. Why is that? While one may argue that the cause of this is due to our upbringing of I-can-achieve-anything attitude, do notice that the world’s population has skyrocketed and the competition for education, jobs, and resources has increased. So the way I see it is with the upbringing of a self-reassuring attitude and the realities of the world, the only thing we see is for us to make ourselves stand out or being one of a kind.
Another big argument that I consistently hear is the idea that we do not know how to communicate and have meaningful relationships because Gen Y grew up with advances in technology, media, and advertisements. Yes, if there was a huge problem that I see in my peers and at times myself is that we are glued to our cell phones, computer screen, flat screen T.Vs, etc. The list goes on and on. But regarding this issue of becoming addicts of technology, I truly believe that slowly but surely, we are recognizing the impact that devices have on our social lives.
In a larger context, if there was just one problem I have with this Gen Y generalization, it is the fact this IS a generalization, that covers more than 50% of the world’s current population. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that every human being has their own personal story and unique experiences. In a social justice standpoint, categorizing an entire generation of individuals as these labels destroys, disencourages, and prevents individuals from being aware of themselves and allows them to start labeling each others. Societal labels are detrimental because they eliminate a chance or an opportunity of interaction, which is the reason why there’s still racial wars being fought, tension between extremist groups, and overall misunderstandings of cultures that may seem foreign to us.
by NAY MINTIN