In a world where you can be a ‘Baby Boomer’, ‘Generation X’, ‘Millennial’ or ‘Generation Z’, I’m proud to be a Millennial and here’s six reasons why.
We’ve all heard these terms being thrown around in the media but here’s a quick overview of what they are:
These were people born between 1946 and 1964 and were so-called because after World War 2, there was a great increase in babies being born during that time. The average marriage age dropped but numbers of children increased dramatically.
These were people born between 1966 and 1980 and were so-called because they grew up in an age where technology was advancing but not quick enough or as readily available as it is today.
These were people born between 1980 and 1995 and were so-called because they were the first age where technology was pretty advanced. They were seen as ‘self-sufficient’, not having to rely on others to ‘solve their problems for them’, using the internet instead. This was also a time of recession and a high level of unemployment. (Source)
These were people born between 1990s and 2000s (the time range is a bit vague) and are so-called because they’re categorised as young and have never known a life without technology. Because of this, they have great knowledge of everything from smart TVs to social media.
As you can see, a lot of the information is related to technology and at what stage in its existence it was when we were all growing up. I think, as a Millennial, we got the best of both worlds in terms of being able to use technology but also to step away from it too. Below are six reasons I’m proud to be a Millennial:
1.Millennials remember life without/limited technology
Up until I was about 13, I didn’t have a phone, didn’t use the internet and definitely didn’t have any social media accounts (because they didn’t exist then!). As I got older, we had dial-up internet, I owned a Nokia 3210 phone and created an account on MySpace. However, these things were tightly policed by my parents; not speaking on the phone after 7pm and not using the internet or going on MSN Messenger for more than an hour. Nowadays, the internet, social media and phone technology is everywhere, all of the time and harder to police.
2. Millennials are self-sufficient
We’re so-called because if we wanted to, we could consult the internet for answers instead of relying on the brains of mum or stepdad, books in the library or ‘Encarta’ (anyone around at that time will know what that is!). We could still ask our parents most things (other than asking when tea was ready or getting a lift somewhere) but they collectively sighed relief when they didn’t have to try and remember things they learned at school to pass on. Nowadays, going onto Google takes a manner of seconds but I do miss the days of properly having to research something and getting my folks involved.
3. Millennials saw the Year 2000 (Y2K) panic ensue
Up until the year 2000, technology was slowly getting more sophisticated with more people owning computers. Businesses were now using computers more than ever and more people were employed to use them. However, during 1999 there was mass panic that on 1st January 2000, all computers would stop working. There was mass panic in the media and it was a genuine concern for many. It was an amazing thing to see on the news and at 23:59 on 31st December 1999, the world held its breath. Luckily, no major problems occurred but the panic was real.
4. Millennial women are earning more and making more decisions
In the decades before, women were still not getting the respect they deserved from society and many still thought they had to stay at home instead of making carers for themselves. Millennials are the first group of women to be earning more money and making more important financial decisions (source) which I think is great. They’re also balancing being amazing mums with doing jobs they want to. At one point, I was in a higher role and getting paid more than my partner. Now, we’re equal which is how it should be.
5. Millennials survived the ‘Great Recession’ between 2007 and 2009
When I came out of university in 2009, I finished right at the brink of recession. I couldn’t get a job in the field I wanted so for a year or two, I was on Jobseekers and then found work as a cleaner/barmaid. When I finally found a job in public relations, I had to move to England in order to work there. Being around at this time when the economy was struggling, really made me appreciate the jobs that I had.
6. Millennials fight for causes they believe in
Whether that’s the #MeToo or #BlackLivesMatter movements, millennials are speaking up about the issues close to their hearts. They’re active in the community, promoting these key messages and standing up for others as well as themselves. They stand together and united. I am currently campaigning for better access to mental health services and I’m proud to be doing so. In this day and age, talking about poor mental health at work, overstretched services and demand for change are still stigmatised, but that’s something to work on.
Being a Millennial means I can appreciate a time without constant technology, I can earn more money than women before and I can fight for causes close to my heart and, hopefully, make a difference. It’s these things that prevent endless scrolling on social media and being able to step away and not compare my experiences to others.
Whichever group you fall into, you’re unique, you can achieve great things and you can change the world.