The “Me” generation, more formally known as the Millennials or Generation Y, are the kids of the 90s. Born between 1981-2000, this generation ranges from current 20-somethings to early 30-year-olds who grew up with Nintendo and desktop computers but had plenty of playtime outside. This gives them a childhood of technology mixed with memories of running around the neighborhood, a novelty today since “unsafe” neighborhoods are so prevalent. The children of the 90s have revolutionized the workplace, changed the definition of marriage and fight hard for social equality. However, their lives are not all sunshine and roses. Witnessing mass school shootings such as Columbine and the hundreds of mass shootings after, not to mention the tragedy of 9/11, has left this generation constantly fighting over gun rights and national safety.
Why work 9-5 when you can work smarter and not harder? Working in remote locations such as coffee shops or from the living room couch are the preferred ways to be productive in the workforce according to the Millennial Generation. Casual Fridays should be casual weekdays as the suit and tie work outfit is becoming obsolete for this innovative generation. The tech-savvy Silicon Valley millionaires are composed of many young 20-somethings. Millennials embrace social networking and even prefer it over real human interactions. They invented the social media era defined by Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and the popular online dating platforms. Why waste time talking to one individual in person while you can interact with five or six people at a time on social media? These text-savvy kids may be innovative and conscious about equal rights such as gay marriage, but their drive to interact through technology with the human race has resulted in anxiety, depression and a lack of interpersonal skills.
Although Millennials are plagued by a fast-paced, multitasking, technology-driven world, they are patient in one aspect of their life: marriage and kids. Marriage and child-bearing are being postponed until these individuals finish their higher education and save enough money to feel stable. According to a recent article in the Atlantic, “In 1960 the average groom was almost 23, and his bride a few months over 20. According to data from Pew Research Center, by 2011, average marriage age had climbed to nearly 29 years for men and 26 and a half years for women.”
In her book “Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled—and More Miserable Than Ever Before,” Jean Twenge argues that depression, loneliness, and panic attacks are all far more common among people in their 20s today than they were in generations past. Stress and anxiety stem from the high pressure to succeed in such a competitive generation. With the advancements in technology, the private tutoring and exam prep classes, the need to travel abroad and the desire to be seen as an independent individual, no wonder this generation is stressed out. These young adults grew up with bullying in schools, resulting in nationwide violence. Our electronic devices have become a human appendage, and many admit to feeling helpless without their smartphone or tablet, eliciting even more anxiety in this generation. According to a 2014 study by Baylor University in Waco, Texas, female students in America spend an average of 10 hours on their phone a day – for men it’s eight.
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Kristen Fuller, M.D., is a senior staff writer at Sovereign Health Group and enjoys writing about evidence-based topics in the cutting-edge world of medicine. She is a physician and author who also teaches, practices medicine in the urgent care setting and contributes to medicine board education. She is also an outdoor and dog enthusiast. For more information and other inquiries about this article, contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.