The Financial Express

The age of millennials

Prottoya Chowdhury | Published: April 06, 2018 22:14:09

The age of millennials

Millennials (people born between 1981-2000) are a completely different variant of the human race who, unlike any other generation, are leading the changes taking place in today's world, shifting and determining the future for a variety of industries ranging from food to fashion. In all of human history, the world has never witnessed such a group of innovative thinkers, brilliant implementers and global leaders who are constantly challenging concepts, norms and ideas that have been ingrained in the human psyche and society since the era of so far unheard-off technological advancements; millennials are bringing a completely new dimension to the multitude of aspects of the world. Compared to the Baby Boomers (born in the 50's of the last century) and Generation X, the millennials are completely different in the way they view the world, human society and human life. Millennials, experiencing the world during the pinnacle of the technological revolution, enduring the deprivation and cruel grip of global economic recession and political turmoil, got a poisonous taste of the cruelty of the world along with a heavenly sniff of the prosperous future of the world. In addition, millennials, intent on fighting and struggling for their individual futures, express a desire to distinguish themselves from their older counterparts, leading them to shun many of the practices and general ideas of previous generations. Not only are millennials more conscious about their health and fitness but also much less materialistic than other generations- caring more for a worthwhile experience than a tangible product. Thus, millennials are, in essence, a race of revolutionisers, radicals and world-changers- the portal to a futuristic new age where all the boundaries and limitations have been broken, extended or exceeded.

Health, fitness, exercise, eating healthy and weight loss- these are the general concepts that are an innate feature of most millennials, and these health-frenzied traits are the main catalysts behind the booming growth of the fitness and 'dieting' industry. Compared to other generations, Millennials have been brought up in an era of radical advancement in healthcare and healthy eating habits. Thus, unlike other generations, millennials are much less likely to consume junk food, filled with all kinds of heart-attack-inducing fats and cholesterol; however, millennials, also unlike their older counterparts, are much less fond of cooking their own meals at home. Instead, what millennials opt for is to order food from 'healthy restaurants', restaurants that offer and boast a slew of healthy menu choices consisting mostly of a variety of different vegetables and lean meat and fish. This has led to change in the food-scene in a variety of different places all around the world, and it has led to the rise of multiple different vegetarian and vegan restaurants spawning all over the world; on the contrary, the once prominent grip of chain restaurants such as KFC, McDonald's, Burger King and so on is slowly starting to wane and dissipate into their glorious and prosperous past. At one point of time, fast food chains were the ultimate source of cheap, quick meals that were satiating and delicious, sending millions of customers flocking to their stores- the tides have turned against them which they neither visualised nor expected.

The tendency to flaunt one's wealth by indulging in materialistic luxuries, designer clothes, flashy cars and expensive showpieces,  is more prominent in generations that preceded the millennial generation; however, for millennials all across the world, special experiences and encounters are of greater value and importance than the latest Gucci and Louis Vuitton arrivals. High-street designers and haute couture fashion houses all across the world have, regardless of their continued attempts to create lines of clothing that are contemporary and appealing to the millennial population, been facing a continued decline in their sales and annual profits. However, although one might expect millennials to be much more stingy and forbearing on the wad of bills jammed in their pockets, millennials account for a staggering 28 per cent, about $600 billion worth, of consumerism currently- and that number will only increase to approximately 35 per cent by 2030. In fact, due to their mammoth spending sprees, most millennials lack a lacklustre $1000 worth of savings in their bank accounts. Millennials are notorious for splurging and squandering their earnings on frequent vacations to exotic locations, dining out, taxi fares and many more amenities. As a result, it has become much more likely for millennials to treat one of their close, loved ones with a more exotic, memorable vacation for their birthday than giving them an expensive present. Ultimately, this mindset of the millennial population has led to the boom of the leisure travelling and vacation industry and the stunted growth of the luxury item producing industries (clothing, jewelry and more); in the midst of all this, the leisure and private travelling industry capitalised on the increased demand and popularity for vacations. Part of the reason for the boom in the vacation industry is that millennials, compared to all the previous generations, are much more tolerant and open to absorbing new cultures and people; due to their lifelong exposure to the internet, information and social media, millennials have a much more global mindset and are aware of issues and occurrences of significance all across the globe. Consequently, millennials are keen on knowing more about the world at large, the environments, societies and cultures that are different from their own- millennials love to embrace diversity and differences.

Cable TV, movie theatres, radios and DVD were once the flag-bearers of the incessantly morphing media and entertainment industry, apparatuses that spewed endless hours of enjoyment for countless adults and youth seeking respite from the drudgery of their daily lives- millennials regard these anachronisms being a bit too démodé for their more newfangled palate. Previous generations may view millennials as impassive, nonchalant and uninterested couch potatoes that spend the greater portion of their day crawling through the perilous depths of the internet, but millennials have adapted to absorbing information in a completely unique manner. Millennials are a young group of self-inspired, self-aspirated thinkers who are constantly busy in their task of reshaping and redefining the constraints in their societies- time being more transient than a boon- and antiquated methods of absorbing information is not the most efficient use of their limited time. Instead of relying on hour-long news broadcasts and talk shows to gain their daily dose of the world around them, millennials depend on social media, sites like facebook, twitter, snapchat and instagram to educate themselves regarding the rest of the planet. Due to their lack of time and their desire for speed and efficiency, millennials have introduced the concept of 'multi-tasking', a concept that is a stark contrast to the work ethics and habits of previous generations; in their ceaseless search for greater efficiency, millennials appreciate and take full advantage of opportunities that allow them to hit two birds with one stone. Social media companies, adjusting and adapting themselves to this initially queer demand from millennials, have responded boldly of late by proving not only a wide spectrum of news, ranging from North Korea's radical nuclearisation to the latest celebrity scandal, but also plenty of interactive and video contents for the entertainment of the user- social media is an umbrella for a variety of services, not anymore for communication. Social media giant facebook now features a news feed that delivers the hottest headlines to users and snapchat has incorporated its stories' features to create a news viewing system unlike anything before; ultimately, the demands of millennials are reshaping the way humanity processes and absorbs information. News and information do not comprise reading and skimming through article after article in major newspapers, but it has rather taken the more amorphous form of a fluid concept in millennial culture- a five-second necessity done every half hour.

While many may understand that the world changed in the last few decades, even years, it is astounding to think that so much of adaptation and change in different industries is a result of the influence the millennial culture has on the world. Millennials are a hybrid species. They are the biological response to humanity's inability to adjust to modernity in an era of where technological development, the furthering of every field imaginable, is at its zenith. Previous generations have and still are benefiting from technology, but the effectiveness of their use and the extent to which they can capitalise on new forms of technology in a moment's notice is inferior to that of millennials; technology progresses too fast for their minds to digest. Ultimately, it is the millennials who are leading from the forefront of world change, their demands and their preferences materialising in the form of changes in world, business and industry policies. The twenty first century did not only bring a bunch of clever, complex wiring into the world; it brought with it a realisation and radical discovery of another way the neurons fire.

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