March 18, 2013

Expectations vs. Reality

We recently had a conversation in the office about the hit show “Girls” and how accurately it represents its Gen Y counter group. After Lena Dunham’s wins at the Golden Globes for Best Actress in a Comedy Series and Best TV Comedy, we started asking ourselves, is this show realistic of the lives of its 20-something Millenial viewers? Who is this generation and what are they all about?

photo via USA Today

For most Gen Y-ers, life is about experiences. Whether its traveling, embarking on a career path or following a dream, they are just trying to figure it all out. With a struggling economy, competitive employment and tons of debt, life isn't that easy and these Millenials definitely take it much more seriously than some come to believe. According to USA Today, those aged 18-33 suffer from higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression than their elders. The problem lies in the fact that this generation was raised being told to follow their dreams and that they can do anything they set their minds to. As these Millenials grow up a bit, they are beginning to experience a huge wake up call...that it's not that simple, but no pressure, right?

photo via Refinery 29

Although, they do have one thing on their side, social media. From growing up on Myspace and AIM to Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blogger, Tumblr, Instagram, LinkedIn and now Pinterest, they understand this new way of connecting better than any other generation. With the help of these platforms, Gen Y-ers are finding new ways to make their dreams a reality. Today, everyone is given a voice and the ability to put it out there. Anyone can make music, films, art, fashion, blog or be an entrepreneur in the global online world. The difficult part lies in the ability to stand out from the rest of the online international community and for this generation being unique is highly valued. There is one very distinctive thing these Millenials have done that no other generation has ever done before and that's creating their own service economy among people of the same age bracket. This attribute gives Gen Y not only power in the market but who better understands their needs, wants and demands better than themselves?

photo via Business Insider

As many of you know, mobile phones are more crucial to this generation than any other before them. This group depends on these devices to remain constantly "in the know" through calling, emailing, texting, facebooking, tweeting, instagramming and of course video chatting. Facebook and blogs have literally become digital diaries and scrapbooks for this generation who highly values the thoughts and comments of their peers. They grew up in front of computers so where they get inspiration from and how they use their imagination is much more clever because of the tools they have access to.

Overall, everything has gone much more public, which at times can be challenging. It's easy to stay connected and now with new technology, there's also a way to remain disconnected, when you choose to. For instance, Killswitch, which was released on Valentine's Day, is basically the digital version of discarding of your ex's things and removes all traces of him or her from your Facebook after a breakup. Another app, Ex-Lover Blocker, notifies your friends whenever you try to contact an ex and the site, Never Liked It Anyway, gives you a less painful way of ridding your offline life of gifts from a former relationship and make some money in the meantime.

photo via The Guardian

These Gen Y-ers, were not only raised in a technology friendly environment, but were the first generation to really be taught sustainability concepts in school. As this group continues to age, the importance of living eco-consciously is becoming further engrained in their lifestyles. When they can afford it, they buy sustainable products, but still many fall victim to trendy and cheap fast fashion. They get bored fast and still don't make much money, however their ideals remain and are beginning to challenge fast fashion retail to be more eco-friendly. Their beliefs that all products in general should embrace this type of consciousness will continue to shape the sustainable marketplace and hopefully bring it forward for future generations to come.

photo via Treasure & Bond

Every generation has a different set of hardships. Whether we think the show "Girls" accurately represents the mindset and lifestyle of this generation? We're still undecided! However, everything is changing so quickly for these Gen Y-ers that it's hard to keep up. We don't know what's going to happen anymore so Millenials are forced to think in a much more short term mindset and get a bit more creative with how they live their lives in the process. Forget saving for retirement and social security. Forget 9-5's and corporate culture. This group is living in the now. They make their own schedules by working freelance and choose to work for smaller, ethical start-ups and be a part of a community. And if they don't know what something is or how to do a task, they google it and teach themselves. They are confident, tech-savvy multi-taskers and despite being dreamers, they have expectations and one day, they will make them a reality.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
MBF Trend Talk by MBF Trend Consulting is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at