Column: Generation Y, Millennials or the Trophy Generation

This column first appeared in The Goan on Saturday)

GenY_Self

For some strange reason, during the last one month I’ve got a lot of “this is the problem with your generation” or “your generation is a disgrace” and the worst of comments about the generation I belong to — Millennials or Generation Y (GenY), whatever you’d like to call us.

It first began in the hostel when my warden said that we were so glued to our mobile phones that we wouldn’t even notice anyone at our feet until we stumbled and fell over them. A couple of days later I met a group of friends and as we were discussing the upcoming general elections, an older friend said that everyone has given up on this generation. She also said that we’re the generation that takes everything for granted and we care least about anything related to our neighbour. Politics is out of the question.

Most of this sounded like gibberish to me. I didn’t give it much thought, and coincidently last week I was assigned the task of doing a research on millennials across the word. Without saying a word, I took up this assignment and set to do my researching. What I found makes me proud to be a part of this risk-taking generation.

First, who are these millennials? Anyone born from the early 1980s to early 2000s belongs to GenY. It’s the generation that is old enough to remember what life was before high-speed internet mushroomed across the world, and young enough to lead the digital revolution.

Some of the most common traits the millennials possess suggest that this is one passionate bunch who wants to do something that will bring about positive change. They want to make money and are independent and innovative.

At a workplace, they’d rather go up to the CEO rubbishing the traditional hierarchy system on matters that they are unable to solve. It’s not that they don’t value the system; it’s just that they’re not afraid to question authority when backed with good reasoning. Above all, we’re perceived to be expert multi-taskers.

However, what doesn’t work in our favour is that we are known to have multiple personas. My research threw up some information that I’ve been debating with my friends all along. Thanks for social networking platforms, we are known to be different in the online space and the real world.

We are also a gang of narcissists. We love to talk about ourselves (as I’m doing right now). It’s always I, me and myself, and the world revolves around us.

Sometime last week, my hostel warden was scolding all of us for not doing something right in the hostel. Within a couple of minutes, everyone started fidgeting with their mobile phones, including me. What does this suggest? Short attention spans. And yes, we were picked for that too.

For two days, I thought much about this GenY the older generations seem to detest. And one morning, I read a column in the Mint on why entrepreneurship is here to stay. According to the writer, the GenYs are neither scared of taking risks nor failing. They create the freedom of doing what they think is right and adopting the entrepreneurship route. I can’t help but agree with the writer. I have friends who have moved out of gigantic companies to start something of their own. While this is one reason, a lot move out and start something on their own due to dearth of opportunities.

The GenY is here to stay and make an impact. At least that’s what I’d like to believe.

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