Generation Y Personal Traits
We are millennials – young people born between 1980 and 2000. We (generation Y according to scholars) are the biggest generation yet, with the highest number of educated people. This blogpost will elaborate on the generalization of the generation Y. Our millennial mindset has been formed through changes in the world around us. The first millennials were just kids when the Berlin Wall fell. We were there when the personal computer became popular and when the World Wide Web was introduced. But then we saw more, we were online. We were using our phones to call one another, but then just decided that texting is cooler, and now we communicate on many platforms like Viber and Whatsapp on our smartphones. We used to watch TV on television sets but now we are streaming movies and television series on digital services such as Netflix. We shifted from listening to music on cassettes, then CDs and MP3-players to streaming music on Spotify in the matter of few years without experiencing any discomfort of the ever mutating medium. We started using social media with Myspace, but now almost every millennial has at least one profile on a social networking website, starting with Facebook. Now we are discussing on 4chan and Reddit and create videos for Vine and Youtube. Although the advancement of technology influenced deeply our life, we experienced other phenomena which changed our millennial mindset. We saw the western world under terrorism threats and 9/11 forever shaped our perception of the world of politics. We survived the financial crisis from 2008 when we entered the job market. We are experiencing migration through our friends and family quest for better education and lifestyle and even our own. We are excellent in adapting and we are still young.
Another personal trait is that we love technology – from the smartphone in the bed to the laptop in our bag. Millennials sleep with their devices. We use our smartphones to check social media before getting out of bed. We are always online, ready to chat with our friends, share pictures on social media or just search for information to win a bet. We own at least 2 screens. Our favourite activities online are searching, seeking health information, social networking, watching videos, getting news, buying things, instant messaging, listening to music, travel reservation, online classifieds, banking online, browsing government websites, playing games. Nevertheless, we are aware of the privacy and surveillance issues and don’t act upon it.
The next thing you have to know about us is that we want to improve ourselves – to learn new skills and be challenged. We are very invested in the idea of the work/life balance and this topic is fundamental for us. Another thing is that we, as millennials, are very community oriented. We want to be socially accepted, to belong. That’s why we are the most tolerant and inclusive generation yet. We love participating in campaigns and storytelling. That’s why for us peer reviews, comment section and sharing options are crucial for our online experience. We prefer to experience something first-hand rather than read about it. We want to engage with the stories. We prefer multi-platform narratives so that we have deep engagement with the story.
Millennials want transparency and authenticity for the digital content on which they spend time and possibly money. We don’t like long articles and videos. We don’t have time and attention for it, we just won’t read/watch it. 300 words is the ultimate length for a piece we would read. The title and the content should be provoking, even entertaining and humourous. We like parodies and satires. We want to be entertained even by the news. Millennials love multi-platform narratives. We want words to tell the story, video to document it and images to illustrate the narrative. That’s how we can enter the story from different points and view it from different angles. Furthermore, we change in between platforms up to 27 times an hour.
The topics which we are most interested in are music, movies, TV, current events and politics, food and cooking, health, travel and culture. However, an overwhelmingly important issue for us is sustainability and this interest of ours is incorporated in all of our favourite things. However, don’t call us environmentalists – we hate being labeled. We want to make a change, live a better life. We want work/life balance and trying to achieve it through self-help books, yoga, meditation and even workshops. That’s why we are interested in healthy lifestyle and mindfulness. Millennials use their smartphones as sous-chefs when cooking. We love live-tweeting our favourite shows or organizing viewing parties.
Interaction with brands
We are aware of our power as consumers, and are willing to take action on behalf of brands that are aligned with our values and interests. We want them to be useful on social media and to establish personalised connections with the clients when needed. We want incentives to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and we would ‘like’ them on Facebook just to get better deals. We want to co-create products and brands, molding them to our preferences. We research products and read user reviews, making a complete experience out of buying any product. Most of our online sharing reveal our consumption activities. Many millennials make an effort to buy products from companies that support the causes they care about.
That is a general idea of who we are and now let’s start thinking about how to mutate the medium for millennials.