There’s so much media about Baby Boomers v. Millennials, and that “v.” part is pretty overhyped. Each group has its much-broadcasted and analyzed flaws, but it isn’t quite the clash of the titans that it’s cracked up to be. We look beyond labels and focus on what connects us – because we’re all in the workplace, volunteer sector and community together. All generalizations about any group of people should raise an eyebrow, but since positivity gets fewer clicks, here’s our researched-and-fairly-sunny read on that generation of human beings sitting across from you at the coffee place.
Work and money. The workplace is changing at a dizzying pace and this group wants their work to be meaningful. They ask a lot of questions in job interviews, mull their choices carefully and often turn to Baby Boomers for advice and guidance. Money isn’t everything to them, but things like the “sharing economy” are partly an outgrowth of uniquely Millennial financial concerns. They are less likely to chase the big-ticket items like houses and cars in part because they are too expensive and also because this is a generation of people who typically value experiences over things.
Phones and real-life conversations. Mobile phone culture tends to be geared toward younger generations, and Millennials are on the vanguard as both producers and consumers. “Text talk” is native to them, but they speak more than one “language” and value face-to-face interactions. They know they should put their phones down more often and have “IRL”* experiences, and just like Baby Boomers, they try to. Public radio journalist Celeste Headlee’s Ted Talk, about how to have better conversations has been viewed over thirteen million times, presumably by quite a few members of this generation.
Flexibility, openness and activism. A person who reached adulthood in the early 21st century is more likely to be flexible and adventuresome when it comes to travel. As in willing to go without tickets or reservations and experiencing things as they happen. This openness may be because of the ease of finding things quickly on the internet and mobile apps that reward last minute decisions with deals and discounts, but it is also thanks to a penchant for practicing mindfulness and good mental health – living in the moment. This is a generation that has done some serious thinking about their place in the world. And they don’t just think, Millennials make change happen.
So, there’s Amava’s take; your cheat-sheet for better understanding of a large group of people who probably aren’t “at war” with Baby Boomers at all.
*In real life.
For more on the powerful connections between Baby Boomers and Millennials, check out some topical dialogues between our own Millie & Boo!: