The traditional definition of Millennials refers to the generation that was born between 1981 and 1996. But being a millennial is not about when they were born and rather how someone displays the behavioral attributes.
Millennials, despite being more virtually social, aren’t psychologically happy. Only 49% of Millennials say that their mental health status is excellent or good, the rest are living through depression, anxiety, or worse.
The attributes of Millennials are distinct. Having seen the great depression and the technological advances, their behavioral health characteristics are fundamentally very different from GEN X and GEN Z populations. Millennials show a great affinity towards technology and are one of the most prominent generations that helped the digital market grow to today’s extent.
However, despite being biased toward technology, Millennials seek a relationship with companies on a personal level; contradictory to the traditional corporate mindset.
In 2022, it’s important to understand how society has changed the Millennials for the best (or worst); for they are in their prime and are the largest spenders.
Millennials Introduced Technology to Society
Millennials were the first generation who had access to modern microprocessors and hand-held personal devices. And they took it personally indeed. The growth of social media and the introduction of the helping culture on the internet were introduced through Millennials.
The rise of technology, the internet, and open-world concepts was enough for the Millennials to keep an open mind over social issues like climate change and nature conservation more than Gen X. Millennials welcome positive changes more than their predecessors because they have seen how subtle changes can make big impacts to technology and society.
But, reliance on technology also has made Millennials more depressed. They are more isolated from physical interactions and society than their predecessors. They are seeking mental health services more than their parents. Though the shift may be blamed on the positive approach towards mental health, the Millennials are in general less happy than their previous generation.
More than 86% of Millennials used social media and almost 100% of them had access to the internet in 2019. This somewhat resonates with the fact that the Millennials see the rise of technology as a positive for society than older generations who consider social media as a negative influence.
Whatever view the Boomers or Gen X population holds, the fact remains the same. If the Millennials wouldn’t have adopted technology to this extent, the product and service sector wouldn’t have been as huge as it is now.
Millennials Promoted Shared Economy
Blame it on the rising price of houses or inflation, the Millennials are more inclined to share an apartment, food, or even transportation with others than owning. Millennials value experience more than the materialistic value of goods they use.
The life goals of Millennials have pivoted from owning a house and driving a car to experiencing such a lifestyle without ever committing to the monetary aspects of it. The shared housing spaces around business hubs are evident to that only.
Millennials are adopting a co-living lifestyle due to various reasons. But the most prominent one seems to be the passive employment lifestyle. Since having a stable job isn’t appealing to the Millennials anymore, the flexibility to change jobs and houses allures them more than owning a house. In contrast to owning a house, they now can just grab their belongings and move to a new convenient one without ever thinking about the renovation and establishment costs.
More than 30% of Millennials suffer from chronic loneliness and lack of strategic behavioral health. Sharing a house, kitchen, and car often gives them much-needed belongingness. The face-to-face interactions and productive bonding attributes of co-living spaces offer them an escape from the “scrolling fatigue” presented by personal and work-life blurriness.
Millennials Have a Loss Aversion Tendency
Too many Millennials have experienced financial crises and investment losses in their early days. Those events left major mental health impacts on the lives of Millennials. They are more comfortable in hoarding cash and earning low interest than investing in risk-prone financial transactions like stocks and investment funds.
However, this approach isn’t particularly beneficial for long-term returns as the hoarded cash has the potential to be doubled only after 30-35 years considering the average expected return of 2% per annum.
Apparently, Millennials are more biased towards living their desired lifestyle now than in the future.
Millennials Expect to be Heard in Society
Millennials expect respect and recognition from their jobs and in society. The companies are implementing policies that encourage employee recognition and provide flexibility. Due to the changing dynamics in job markets, the Millennials now seek more personal attention and recognition as opposed to team accomplishment.
Organizations often fail to listen to the Millennials. Their worldview and experience are almost always neglected and ditched. This is an issue of behavioral health. But, the scenario is changing rapidly with the increase of Millennials in the workforce. Now, the executives are being forced to hear what they have to say as Millennials not only want to be heard, but they seek to be consulted.
In the consumer market, 87% of Millennials believe that businesses should listen to the users before launching a new product. Their gratification lies in knowing that their opinion matters. The companies that listen to the feedback and deliberately make changes to their product are well received by the Millennials.
Millennials Choose for Themselves
Due to the wide access to information and social interactions, Millennials are more inclined to choose what they’ve determined to be better. The campaign doesn’t matter much to young Millennials if the product fails to provide them with the experience they seek.
The political campaigns that used to work on Boomers also have failed to bear fruit in recent years due to the increase of the Millennial voting population and the liberated thought process of young adults.
The affinity of Millennials towards technology is reshaping how society or the market promotes their products. With access to reviews, price comparisons, and product information, 57% of Millennials consider comparing prices before choosing brands that offer maximum value at a lower cost.
Millennials Are Unwilling to Start a Family
Millennials, having seen 9/11 and the great depression, are more focused on health and career than their previous generations. Despite having access to behavioral health care, they aren’t very keen to start a family on their 20s. Although on average Millennials aren’t earning as much as they should in comparison to their previous generation, they are more focused on careers than settling down and having a family.
The Bottom Line
Millennials aren’t changing in today’s society, but the society is changing around Millennials. As much as their predecessors hate them for being outspoken or careerists, denying their impact on society, technology, and the economy would be criminal.