The Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y or as Generation Next,. is a term used to describe the demographic cohort following Generation X. Its members are often referred to as “Millennials” or “Echo Boomers”. As there are no precise dates for when Generation Y starts and ends, most commentators use birth dates ranging somewhere from the mid 1970s to late 1990s Members of Generation Y are primarily the offspring of the Baby Boomers. This generation generally represents an increase in births from the 1960s and 70s, not because of a significant increase in birthrates, but because the large cohort of baby boomers began to have children. The 20th century trend toward smaller families in the West continued, however, so the relative impact of the “baby boom echo” was generally less pronounced than the original boom.
Characteristics of the generation vary by region, depending on social and economic conditions. However, it is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. In most parts of the world its upbringing was marked by an increasingly neo-liberal or market oriented approach to the politics and economics. The effects of this environment are disputed.
Generation Y, like other generations, has been shaped by the events, leaders, developments and trends of its time. The rise of instant communication technologies made possible through use of the internet, such as email, texting, and IM and new media used through websites like YouTube and social networking sites like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, may explain Generation Y’s reputation for being somewhat peer-oriented due to easier facilitation of communication through technology. This trend of communication is continuing into Generation Z.
This generation is also sometimes referred to as the Boomerang Generation or Peter Pan Generation because of their possible penchant for delaying some of the rites of passage into adulthood longer than most generations before them, and because of a trend toward living with their parents for longer than recent generations. Those a part of Generation Y have pushed the acceptable boundaries for full adulthood from their mid 20’s to early 30’s. Many members of Generation Y have chosen to live at home, remain without a family or children, and delay a full career longer than any generation before them.
Generation Y grew up amidst a time during which the internet caused great change to all traditional media. Shawn Fanning, a Generation Y member, founded the peer to peer file sharing service Napster while in college.
Literature of the 1990s and 2000s popular with Gen Y include Harry Potter, Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul and Goosebumps, to name a few.
Generation Y would have been significantly exposed to heavy license based toy marketing as children, including for males: He-Man, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and later, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. This distinguishes Generation Z who connected to Pokémon and Harry Potter as toy – cartoon tie-in properties.
In Mastrodicasa survey in 2007, they found that 97% of students owned a computer, 94% owned a cell phone, and 56% owned an MP3 player. They also found that students spoke with their parents an average of 1.5 times a day about a wide range of topics. 76% of students used instant messaging, 92% of those reported multitasking while IMing, and 40% of students used television to get most of their news and 34% the Internet. 56% reported downloading music using peer-to-peer file sharing (15% reported downloading movies and 16% reported downloading software). 69% of students reported having a Facebook account, typically logging in twice a day.
Economic prospects for generation Y have worsened due to the Late-2000s recession. This generation has been least skilled and less workaholic in comparison to preceding generations. Several governments have instituted major youth employment schemes out of fear of social unrest such as the 2008 Greek riots due to the dramatically increased rates of youth unemployment.
The Millennials are sometimes called the “Trophy Generation”, or “Trophy Kids,” a term that reflects the trend in competitive sports, as well as many other aspects of life, where “no one loses” and everyone gets a “Thanks for Participating” trophy and symbolizing a perceived sense of entitlement. It has been reported that this is an issue in corporate environments.” Some employers are concerned that Millennials have too great expectations from the workplace and desire to shape their jobs to fit their lives rather than adapt their lives to the workplace. To better understand this mindset, many large firms are currently studying this conflict and are trying to devise new programs to help older employees understand Millennials, while at the same time making Millennials more comfortable. For example, Goldman Sachs conducts training programs that use actors to portray Millennials who assertively seek more feedback, responsibility, and involvement in decision making. After the performance, employees discuss and debate the generational differences they have seen played out”