When asked to define a millennial high school student, Nicholas Wilburn said, “a millennial is a person born in the late 80’s up until the early 2000’s that is commonly associated with social media and cell phones, usually in a negative way.”
“The millennials” is a group of people born approximately 1984 and after. They are said to be tough to manage, narcissistic, self-interested, lazy, entitled, and a number of other things. There are multiple areas in a millennial’s life to blame when dealing with why they act this way.
Millennials grew up with misleading words by their parents. They are told they are special and that they can have anything they want in life just because they want it. If their students want something to be different the parents will complain until the student gets what they want. Participation medals are given to the kids in the last place, and sometimes they actually make the child feel worse. These medals make the first place seem less accomplishing.
Parents try to boost the child’s self-esteem with these encouraging words, but as soon as the child is let down by anything, instantly, their self-image is shattered. That is why a lot of people nowadays suffer from lack of self-confidence, anxiety, and depression.
Technology has also taken a huge role in the personality of today’s millennials. People are really good at showing others that their life is stellar even though it may not be. A lot of people’s social media accounts show their life is put together when it really isn’t.
Engagement with cell phones and social media releases a “feel good” chemical called dopamine. When someone gets a text, a “like” on Instagram, or a Snapchat, instantly, dopamine is released. Dopamine is the same chemical released when people smoke, drink, or gamble. In other words, that chemical is addictive. Humans always want more and more of it. The more they have of it, the happier that person is (for a short period of time).
Social media addicts display the same reaction as alcoholics. When stressed they turn to their phones just like alcoholics turn to their drinks.
It is a proven fact that “people that spend more time on Facebook are more likely to suffer from depression than those who spend less time on Facebook,” (Amit Chowdhry, Forbes.com)
An issue arises when people realize that social media has no age limit. Nowadays there are many kids in 5th grade that are getting Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc. The things that are posted on social media will stick with that person for the rest of his/her life. If something embarrassing was posted, but then deleted a couple days later, the victim can only hope that no one remembers it. With gadgets like retweeting on Twitter or sharing on Facebook, a person’s post has the ability to reach someone on the other side of the world. That is what elders mean when they say, “it never goes away”.
The whole issue with social media is really all about balance. Most millennials are suffering from an imbalance. They spend more time holding their phones than they do holding their loved ones. This bazaar addiction is causing the destruction of friendships, relationships, and even lives. Why are we letting a simple device dictate how our lives are? How is a simple handheld instrument taking hours out of our God-given time? Why are we letting social media take our happiness?
Millennials are not only addicted to their phones but also very impatient. For example, they don’t like to wait for a new episode every week on TV so they spend their whole day binge-watching it on Netflix (which most of us are guilty of doing). They pay well around $100 to Amazon just because they can’t wait 5-10 business days. They pay extra to have the free, 2-day shipping (which again, most of us are guilty of doing). They watch pirated movies online so we don’t have to wait for the DVD to come out.
In today’s society, millennials don’t have to suffer the embarrassing awkwardness of talking to someone they like for the very first time. They can instantly send them a Snapchat and start a conversation. They don’t have the courage to ask, “Hey are you free Saturday night? I would like to take you to the movies.” Instead, it takes five seconds to send a picture on Snapchat of movie times with the caption, “You in?”. No courage necessary. Everything happens literally with the click of a button.
However, for ideas like job satisfactions and meaningful relationships, there isn’t an app for that.
Millennials want to have instant gratification. They don’t want to wait to make an impact on the world. They just want to say one thing and instantly inspire others and gain respect. They’re losing sight of things that matter most such as self-confidence, joy, loving the life they live, and all those things take time. The journey through life is arduous. Most millennials are looking at the worst case scenario which is that they’ll never be happy or their just waft through life and not make or do anything note-worthy.
Lastly, millennials are infected by their environment. In today’s leading company, they care more about numbers than the people. People want success but aren’t willing to work for it.
Bosses in the workplace want immediate perfection and there is no room for flaws. Millennials won’t learn the joy of what it means to work hard for a long period of time and gain success in the end. The worst part about this situation is they blame themselves.
People are focusing on their own flaws instead of trying to make things better together. Together is better. Innovation happens when we allow our minds to wander.
Solutional to this millennial crisis? Let’s drop our cell phones and actually talk to others. Relationships will form if we communicate face to face not phone to phone. Leaving your cell phone at home or in the car when going out will ensure you will not be tempted to check your phone. If you are with the people you love, everything else can wait.