Originally posted at http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/bthesite/bal-pictures-the-millennial-generation-who-are-we-20120626,0,3841596.photogallery
“Call us what you want — Millennials, Generation Y, and Generation We — it doesn’t change the reality that most of us grew up just as one era ended and another began. We’re old enough to remember what life was like before high-speed Internet, but young enough to lead the digital revolution. Many years from now, we will bore our grandchildren with stories about ancient things like “dial-up modems” and “books.” In the meantime, we’re dealing with our shortened attention spans, student debt and smartphone obsession.
Think you’re one of us? See if these 10 characteristics sound familiar.
Can we have that yesterday?
We need instant gratification, all the time. We used to be OK with driving to the video store to rent a DVD. Now, if we can’t stream it instantly, it’s dead to us. (If you’ve ever received an Amazon Prime order 12 hours after placing it, you know there’s no turning back.) Need to know what everyone thinks about anything relating to your personal life? Post to Facebook or Twitter, refresh, repeat as necessary. We just might be the most spoiled, self-obsessed, impatient generation yet. But have you seen the photos we just posted of our Paris trip?
Our attention spans are shot.
Forget watching whole music videos on YouTube — if this funny cat video isn’t funny in 30 seconds, we’re over it. We can’t sit through a movie without playing with our phones. If you’re telling us a story, you have five, maybe seven seconds to get to the point.
We still haven’t grown up.
How many of your friends moved back in with their parents after college? For that matter, how many of us have “real” jobs? Our parents got married young, but we’re fine with putting that off for a while. Will we ever grow up? Maybe after we finish paying off all this college debt.
We remember what it was like ‘before’
One day long ago, a computer arrived for the entire school. They kept it in the library. Then there was one in each classroom, which we used mostly for playing “Oregon Trail.” These machines were giant hunks of plastic coated in that unforgettable shade of beige. They also had handles, for some reason. Before long, we abandoned land phone lines, registered personal domain names and started camping out in front of Apple Stores. Many years from now, we will be the last generation that remembers the whines, pings and static of a dial-up modem.
We’re all going to be famous. Briefly.
A decade ago, it seemed like anyone could be a reality TV star (thanks, “Real World”). Now, literally anyone can be famous. People are discovered every day on YouTube, Twitter and the blogosphere. The catch: If everyone is two clicks away from stardom, how much “fame” is really out there? You don?t have 15 minutes of fame anymore — you have 15 seconds.
We have multiple personalities.
After Facebook stalking someone, meeting them in person can be a huge letdown. That’s because we have two personas: us online and us in real life. Online, we post retro-looking photos of everyday things that look cooler than they should (yay Instagram!). We toss out snarky comments that took us five minutes to come up with. In person, we’re much less witty, and perhaps a little uglier than our online selves. Don’t hate.
After we die, we live on, online.
When a friend passes away, his or her Facebook profile often stays up, like a digital memorial. Friends and family post things like “missing you,” and “happy would-be 29th birthday.” Chances are, these pages will be around long after we’re gone. Facebook even has a Memorials app. Freaky, huh?
We care less about cars
Your dad had his hot rod. Your older brother may have even souped up his Honda Civic, a la “The Fast and the Furious.” But most Millennials care less about buying a new a car, according to CNW Marketing Research. Fewer 20- to 24-year-olds are even getting drivers licenses, according to data from the Federal Highway Administration. Is it an attempt to save the environment? Are cars too expensive? Do we care more about other gadgets like smart phones? Or all of the above?
This will be on our permanent records.
Almost everything we do is documented — mostly by us. When MySpace first arrived, we might have been a little hesitant about posting every detail big and small, but that’s long gone. Now we overshare about our health issues, that creepy guy in line next to us, relationship dramas, food and weather. Lots of posts about food and weather.
We are expert multi-taskers.
In the 10 seconds it takes Generation X to read this, a Millennial would have already sent four texts, paid a student loan bill and ordered Starbucks (using the app, of course).
Submitted By: Peggy Anderson, Career Coordinator