Entitlement—expecting special rewards or privileges without putting in the work or effort to merit the rewards—is synonymous with young adults born on the cusp of the 21st century. Inflated expectations and an “It’s all about me” mantra can be attributed to over-parenting, American culture, grade inflation in public schools, or consistent self-esteem coddling by society members.
The last of these reasons was evident in Barack Obama’s 2010 Back to School Speech:
Nobody gets to write your destiny but you. Your future is in your hands. Your life is what you make of it. And nothing—absolutely nothing—is beyond your reach, so long as you’re willing to dream big, so long as you’re willing to work hard. So long as you’re willing to stay focused on your education, there is not a single thing that any of you cannot accomplish, not a single thing.
You can listen to the President's speech in its entirety on YouTube.
The question is, however, “What does the Y Generation accomplish? Anything at all?”
The Millennials’ reality—the high number of highly-educated young adults who are unemployed in the midst of a recession. They have been brought up to defy authority because they can freely access information because they are technology wizards with high expectations and high access to knowledge.
Millennials come equipped with skills and attitudes, and they want to use these opportunities to find the right balance for the multiple obligations that fill their busy schedules. Their focus on team work and collaboration makes them self-motivated, flexible, and laid-back in a workplace environment.
Social media, for these reasons, becomes the great leveler that equalizes access to culture, politics, and social justice. Logically then, millennials rely on technology
- to make life easier
- to access information quickly
- to play a greater role in political activism
- to create a more efficient use of time
- to develop closer bonds between friends and family
Information’s free flow, social media’s vast transparency, and technology’s inclusiveness creates an innovative spark interspersed with Millennials’ personal, academic, political, and professional lives.
As a result, these easily personalized, customized, and individualized tools foster the Millennial generation’s resourceful spirit. Social media’s innovative qualities coincide with the principles of active engagement, group work, opportunities for feedback from a wide audience, and the connection of knowledge from a host of areas.
Do you think like a Millennial? Take the Pew Research Quiz.
Want to learn more about what Millennials are like, what they think, and how they view the world? Here's the report.