We’re young people with souls.
Our generation is labelled “the millenials” . I don’t like it. It was created by fuddy-duddies in an office somewhere saying “how do we get down with the kids?” Then playing a game of marketing buzzword bingo between them.
This is a rant but it’s also positive. I’m looking into my crystal ball to the future. This is about politics, technology, art and how I see my generation coming through.
The fact is the older generation have screwed it up for us. In the UK at least, housing is absurdly expensive. Jobs are hard to come by, underpaid and leave little room for a social life let alone any hobbies. Young people have to pay £9,000 a year to get to university (the courses are terrible value, but that’s a rant for elsewhere).
In short, we’re screwed. But I think this is going to make us a more resilient generation than ever.
The previous generation has always emphasised getting a good job, “on the housing ladder”, a mortgage, a car, climbing the greasy pole, then retiring. You can only enjoy life at 65.
But that’s a broken model.
Most of us don’t want to chase careers traditionally because it doesn’t make sense. The rules are skewed against us.
So instead we’re going to live as we please. We’re going to scratch creative itches. We’re going to travel our souls happy, staying at AirBnBs, making friends along the way.
Because it’s so hard to win by the old rules we’re going to play our own games. We’ll follow the tune of our hearts, and do what we were born to do. Until we find that point, we’ll be restless in our career choices and locations.
If I had to pick a defining theme of this generation it will be this. We distrust authority, government,. rules, stereotypes. Most of us hate being boxed.
Because we are not millenials. We are young people with souls.
Marketers can piss off with their Youtube pre-roll adverts and “viral” advertising.
We are good enough as we are. In fact we’re brilliant as we are. Most marketing exploits our fear and inadequacy to sell us things we don’t need.
We are now the empowered generation. The connected. We know the truth.
If you’re reading this as an older person, a business person or someone else trying to connect with us: here’s the rub. Empower us and we shall enrich you. Treat us as idiots and we’ll treat you as idiots.
Let’s be honest. Fizzy drinks are full of gunk, corporations are evil, school is pointless. The world of our parents is that of the 70s and 80s. It’s the world of the Ogilvy’s, ugly high-rise office blocks, grimy motorways and dullurbia (dull-suburbia). Look at me with my cool new words!
But this generation can see through the fakery and the crud. We don’t need to prove our worth through a position. At least most of us won’t. 50 likes on Facebook mean more to us than becoming Vice President in a company.
We want to do what’s interesting, cool and what captures our imaginations – rather than what’s imposed by a suit.
Many of us want to live near each other in apartments, near parks, green spaces and other young people. We want to be able to walk or cycle to our friend’s houses. We want to live in livable cities and get outside. If you have 15 minutes – watch this.
I also think technology will bring the end of capitalism. At least in the traditional sense.
Capitalism is based on the principle of scarcity.
The study of economics is how are scarce resources are distributed.
I think technology will solve the problems of scarcity.
Technology will replace bitchwork in this generation. By that I mean admin, driving jobs and probably most jobs will be replaced by computers or eliminated. Driverless vehicles alone are set to kill 10 million jobs.
We will be free of “having to” do things. Many of us will be unemployed. But before you worry about that – I think that’s actually a good thing. We’ll be liberated from things we don’t want to do. Like the agricultural workers of the 19th century. Machinery will take our place.
Everything will be cheap to produce, automatic and abundant. Food, housing, clothing, websites (or whatever we use in future) food delivery, will be done by robots… And because it will be so cheap and abundant, anyone will be able to afford it.
In turn, we’ll regain the most valuable resource of all: time.
We’ll have time to create art, to play, to be daring, to spend time with friends and family. Any work that we’ll do, will be done from willingness rather than obligation. It will come from within ourselves, rather than imposed on us from the outside by a corporate hierarchy.
Paul Graham has written an excellent essay on how to do work you love here.
That might be young people making robots, coding software, creating motorbikes powered by orange juice, designing those motorbikes… who knows. I’m just brain farting. Thanks to technology, our ability to execute on our ideas will become ever more easy.
Ideas beget more ideas. And I believe that within the next 5 to 10 years we’ll start seeing a very powerful creative renaissance particularly from young people. In fact it’s already happened on a large scale. Youtube vloggers. Twitter.
Dave AKA Boyinaband has 429,000 subscribers on Youtube. His ability to connect with people is way stronger than anyone on TV, any Ant or Dec or Simon Bloody Cowell.
The thing is he speaks the truth, is funny, interesting and his finger on the pulse of his audience. He, and others, will inspire millions to have a voice and share their secret talents.
Another trend is that of having multiple jobs and odd niches. Someone might be an oil painter, a carpenter making lamps and a gardener. We might have several appointments in a day doing various different projects. We’ll all share our expertise in odd niches.
The fact is 89% of people are happier after going self-employed than before.
Our side projects will become mainstream. Having weird hobbies will be cool and mainstream. Rather than something that people do secretly at the weekend.
To summarise I think the future is fascinating. Because instead of chasing status, prestige and wealth like many of the previous generation – young people have a higher ideal. Passion. Love. Art. Creativity. Coolness.
. And that means we’re not millenials. We’re young people with souls.