Monday, November 9, 2015

Millennials? Where did they get that name?

How did the young generation become known as Millennials?

Who gave a generation that title? Lately all we see or hear is what the Millennials think, how they plan to vote, how they are changing the country.

Millennials are also known as Generation Y, the demographic that directly follows Generation X. Those who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century are considered Millennials.

This is the generation that was raised to believe they should follow their dreams and they could accomplish anything they wanted to do in life. Many of them were made to believe they were special. I hear grandparents say, “Just ask my grandson. He knows everything about computers and the Internet. Kids are so much smarter today than we were.”

Computer or device savvy?
I have not met anyone among my family or friends who can help me when I have a computer problem.  Most of the young adults I know can tell you how to use a smart phone to take a selfie, to research on their tablet, or how to bring up You Tube videos that make me laugh.  But very few of them know about using a computer for writing, for blogging, for setting up a website, marketing or building a readership for an author. 

A college student recently told me she never uses a computer and doesn’t know much about them. She uses her smart phone and thinks she knows all she needs to know.

While Millennials grew up in the electronics-filled world and they seem to be online constantly with their devices, research has shown they are the most stressed-out generation.

A quote from an Arianna Huffington post said, “According to Stress in America, a study commissioned by the American Psychological Association, Millennials are the most stressed demographic….
The study asked participants to rank their stress level on a scale of 1 ("little or no stress") to 10 ("a great deal of stress"). Millennials led the stress parade, with a 5.4 average. Boomers registered 4.7, and the group the study labeled the "Matures" gave themselves a 3.7.

The Millennials are more tolerant of differences and is the most diverse generation, ethnically. They have extreme confidence in themselves. I can’t imagine having such confidence at such a young age.

In spite of coming out of college unable to find jobs in their fields and burdened with huge debt, they are optimistic about the future of America. I hope their optimism proves true and they can make the enormous changes we need to get our economy back on track for the middle class that is the backbone of the United States. 

I am sure that parents who hovered over their children, sending them to the best schools, and gave them every advantage possible, worry that these young adults will never have the good life their parents enjoyed.

I see it happening. 
Parents lived in fine houses, drove the nicest, newest cars, belonged to the country club, and their kids grew up privileged, expecting to always have everything they ever wanted.

When the silver spoon tarnishes, the expectations are too high, and the adult child feels thrown to the wolves. Without financial support from parents, no job, no income, the stress can take a person down into addiction or depression or both. It is no wonder the Millennial generation faces more stress than anyone today. 

Whether they are working or unable to find work, stress becomes a health issue.

"Stress is a huge factor when we look at medical problems such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiac disease," says Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC's chief medical editor.

I heard of a few Millennials who surprised and disappointed their parents when, after earning a degree, they announced they were going to be organic farmers or were going to work for a non-profit that they believed could change the world for the better.

Now that I understand the stress these young people are dealing with, it is easier to see why they have weight problems and suffer chronic illness. Stress leads to heart disease, high blood pressure and autoimmune disorders.

I am in the Mature Generation, and I have had diabetes for 13 years. When I have too much stress in my life, my blood sugar goes up. When life is calm and I sleep well, my levels are good. I imagine how  difficult it is for young women who work and care for a family.

Anxiety is a precursor for depression. Too many young women today take sleeping medicines, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety medicines to help them get through their busy days.

I sympathize with the Millennials who face uncertain futures in today’s world. We all want to pursue our dreams, work only at jobs that we enjoy, and we all want to earn a decent living. But my generation didn’t always have that opportunity. People I know worked at jobs for forty years that were boring or unfulfilling but paid the bills. Now they are retired and are excited to have the chance to pursue those dreams.  Perhaps that is why the Mature generation feels less stressed.

What is your stress level these days? How do you manage to keep the stress under control, or do you?


Abbie Taylor said...

I have very little stress. I'm doing something I enjoy, and I have only myself to answer to. Life is good for me now.

Glenda C. Beall said...

I was like that, Abbie,until I got this puppy. But she helps me release stress. I didn't realize how much I missed having someone to love on. But I, too, am happy to be my own boss, eat when and where I want, and sleep when I want to - often long naps during the day.

I am part of the Mature generation and we have learned to let much of life's stresses just pass on by. Glad you are happy.