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Generation Y, most often referred to as millenials, are considered to be those born between early 1980’s to the early 2000’s. Millennials face many unique trials and tribulation, which the generations preceding them did not, leading to an intense amount of research into the behavioral traits amongst the Generation Y.
One of the main distinguishing factors about millenials is the fact that they grew up in the time when digital technology became readily available to the masses. As a result, they are the most computer literate generation, and the ones that make the most use of digital technology.
In 2007 a large research was conducted of college students into their use of digital technology. The research yielded some insight into how much of a pivotal role digital technology plays in millenial’s lives; it found that 97% of students owned computers and 94% owned a cell phone. The research also revealed that 76% of students used instant messaging and 96% reported multi tasking while instant messaging.
These statistics pose a problem for millenials as persistent use of digital technology is linked with social anxiety and many claim that millenials are the first generation where it is a widespread problem, and many have lost the ability to communicate in the real world.
Many researchers claim each generation has unique traits it is defined by and, for many researchers, the trait by which Generation Y is defined by is a heightened sense of entitlement and narcissism, based on comparing surveys between millenials and previous generations when they were in their teens and twenties. This however is not a shock as increased use of social media has been linked to a heightened sense of entitlement in many studies.
Due to the late-2000s great recession, the economic outlook for millenials is not a good one. The generation is the first one in the modern era to face higher levels of student debt and unemployment.
Also during this generation, youth unemployment has drastically increased in many parts of the Western world. For example Spain has a 56% unemployment rate, the Baltic states have a 36% unemployment rate and more than 20% in many more. This is leaving a large part of the millennial generation unable to fully participate in society and also hampers their future prospects.
Generation Y faces many unique challenges which were not present for previous generations. Although previous generations also had challenges unique to them, the hardships facing Generation Y greatly differentiate them from preceding generations and hamper their future.