GENERATION WHO: A TONGUE-IN-CHEEK DEFENCE OF MONEYLESS MILLENNIALS.
As a Millennial working in the media ‘sphere’, it’s hard not to notice all the media chatter about my spoiled generation and our apparently heated war with our elders, the Baby Boomers.
What do you know about us spoiled Millennials? I’ve heard that we’re a bunch of entitled, avocado-eating, latest iPhone-owning, networking, latte-licking, selfie-obsessed, time-poor layabouts who can’t afford to buy our first homes because we blow our pay checks on coffeeand the latest kicks, while still managing to live-Tweet The Bachelor NZ, watch all our friends’ Snapchat Stories and live highly ‘Grammable lives – all for the coveted ‘like’.
When I first started seeing these articles slamming my beloved generation, these generalisations annoyed me – I nearly spat out my gluten free, refined sugar free, raw vegan smoothie in indignation! How dare the (online) newspapers spout such lies about us? But then I put down my phone (only an iPhone 6s, not even the new release) with the protective case that has little avocados printed all over it (no joke, the addiction is real), took a long sip of my Americano and thought “So what?”.
So, we know how to use social media… well, that’s a plus for me because at least 50% of my workload is Facebook page management for various brands. Being a Millennial with a natural interest in social means I use it for enjoyment as well as work, giving me a better understanding of what Facebook and Instagram users like myself want to see on these channels – and then I can help my clients give their audiences a better user experience which helps their brand awareness, key messaging and even their bottom line.
So, we know what’s trending… yeah, some of us probably don’t NEED another pair of all-white Nikes or that second double-shot cappuccino from our favourite boutique coffee roaster, but keeping up with what’s ‘hot’ on TV, the names of the most-subscribed-to YouTubers and which Bachelorette has gone sugar-free for the month of June also makes me better at my job, believe it or not. Influencer marketing is a huge part of the communications mix, especially for our consumer clients, and knowing what those influencers are up to is important to our job. This insight is the difference between getting a positive product shout out from a celebrity which generates invaluable brand awareness and sales, or getting mocked in front of their 100,000+ fans when the hundreds of dollars of perishable product you sent them went rancid on their doorstep because your PR agency didn’t do their job right and check that said YouTuberis even in the country. (That actually happened – it wasn’t us because we have social-and-trend-obsessed staff).
What’s the deal with Millennials not being able to get onto the property market? It’s pretty straightforward, really. Real estate is expensive. And Millennials are defined as being born between 1981-1997, meaning a large portion of our generation are in their early to mid-20s and likely in entry-level jobs making entry-level moolah. In THIS financial climate, no wonder we bury our sorrows by drinking our bodyweight in caffeine every day.
Where was I on our list of foibles? Ah, yes… avocado. Avocado has recently been blamed as the reason why Millennials are so asset-less, but that’s so laughable I only really have one thing to say about it.
Avocados are delicious and nutritious, we should all be eating more of them. Yes, even when they’re not in season, they’re worth it. An investment in your health. And what about our so-called nemeses, the Baby Boomers? I’m told that they’re grumpy ol’ technology-haters who destroyed the property market, inherited the Earth, and use to walk two miles to school barefoot through the snow with only the occasional cow-pat purposefully stood in the defrost their calloused feet. Or something like that, I think… I was liking Facebook memes at the time.Oh yeah, and they are always shaking their heads at us Millennials.
Hey Baby Boomers, just remember who raised us eh?