So Generation Y (better known as Millennials) are individuals born between 1981 and 1996 (meaning this year you are currently between the ages of 23 to 38).
So according to an article by Janet Adam and Paul Overberg, this generation are approaching middle age in worse financial shape than every living generation ahead of them. Majority of this generation started their work career just as the financial crisis and recession kicked in.
In my opinion, with technological advances such as wired phones to cordless phones, beeper devices to cell phones, televisions upgrading to better quality, the creation of games like Nintendo and arcade games, the creation of the internet and social media; this generation started to become ‘connected’, whereby we became obsessive and focused on the upgrades available to us.
All these upgrades to our lives, made us feel fantastic but it also brought about a competitiveness in a lot of individuals placing people in financial debt by always competing for the newest or latest product, because things like celebrities lives where now on display in our face (with them displaying the latest and greatest), daily adverts showing you better products.
We (because this is my generation) became consumed by the upgrades, without realizing what it was doing to us. We became so ‘connected’ that it became literally impossible to disconnect.
How you ask? Well it’s simple, we all have cell phones now (including poor people in rural parts of South Africa). Do any of us really turn off our cellphone? Nope, if you are a business man like myself, you are constantly checking emails on our phones after hours, taking calls at night or sitting on our phones during family time or out at a dinner. We don’t ‘switch off’ while on holiday because we need to still be available for emergencies or urgent work issues.
We are permanently bombarded with spam callers and emails trying to sell you the biggest load of nonsense. When online we are bombarded with advertisements on social media or on your web browser.
We do not rest, we stress about work, money, cars (that have become expensive to maintain), failing marriages/partnerships. We are the generation that boomed but also got a lot of stress brought into our lives through technological advances.
Work has even become more stressful because of technological advances, people are being laid off because machines are replacing jobs, clients are becoming harder to obtain because competition is growing and while costs go up, companies are being forced to lower their prices to keep clients on board – this stuff creates continuous worrying (even when you lie in bed at night and battle to sleep because you are thinking about so many things).
Sit and honestly think about how much time you are ‘connected’, how many spam calls or emails do you get a day (we think these are not bothering us but trust me subconsciously it eats away at you).
These are only some of the stress factors in our lives currently.
Now Generation Z (better known as centennials) are individuals born between 1996 and 2010, and they are going to have it even harder than us. They were born into social media and the internet, in fact they are making technological advances but to what point? This generation has had to endure bullying not only at school but online. This generation doesn’t know about being disconnected. This generation is all about the newest and the greatest because their minds are being brainwashed through numerous advertisements designed specifically for this generation.
This generation is following role models on TV, such as reality stars and forcing themselves to try and compete against fellow friends by ensuring they have the best of the best.
This generation is born into a world, where they can climate control their house or car, they can FaceTime or Watsapp call friends around the world, they can shop online and have deliveries received the next day, they can order food online and have it delivered in minutes (unhealthy take always). They can watch what they want when they want; they can control WiFi devices in their house and monitor camera systems or their home or work place. They can download a new song in a second, This generation’s lives are controlled by technological advances, that is tracking what they like, what they do and the Shoots out what they need to see through specific algorithms.
This generation is on an advance with technology but they are opening themselves up to a whole new can of worms when it comes to stress factors.
I guess we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t!
We as human beings need to learn to put down the cell phones for a few hours when with our families, learn to disconnect so that we can relax, and wind down so we can handle the following days stress factors.
We only live once, so make some changes to give yourself a chance to ‘breath’.