I was born in 1983. One of my earliest memories is my Dad standing next to the TV changing the channel by pressing a button repeatedly until he found Night Court. In middle school I remember my mom buying our first CD player along with my first cd—Woo Hah!! (Got You All In Check) by Busta Rhymes. In high school, I wrote papers and chatted on AOL using my bright orange iMAC desktop computer. I passed notes to make plans for the weekend. I talked with friends on the phone in the privacy of our bathroom by stretching the phone cord so far that once I pulled the whole phone off the wall. I believe my Dad had a Zach Morris flip phone for work when I was growing up but I didn’t have a cell phone until 2003—I was 20 years old. In the 13 years since then I have witnessed the concept of “technology” and “communication” change drastically.
Hi, my name is Biz and I am a millennial. I am “old” when it comes to being identified as a millennial—those born in the 90s were immersed in the rounding of the technological corner much earlier and thus I continually ask 20 somethings about the functions of my smart phone. But I digress…
There is a lot of talk about millennials right now. Upon “googling” (today’s most instantaneous way to learn about something) millennials, I discovered opinions that state we are lazy and vague, marketing agencies are desperately trying to understand us, and we have single handedly “killed” everything from the movie industry to napkins, relationships to democracy as a whole. Now I’m not here to give you a bunch of boring statistics and I am certainly not going to generalize the defining characteristics and qualities of someone born between 1980 and 2000. As if! There are 80 million of us right now—there is no nutshell, not even a genetically modified one, we fit into.
In the several conversations I have had with millennials during the past two weeks one thing stands out. We are nostalgic. We are the final generation to value a photo that doesn’t exist in the gallery on our phones or Facebook—the photo that is slightly tattered because we have carried it with us through 4 moves. The rapid technological development during our formative years has left us feeling like our childhood was longer ago than it really was. We long for simpler times while also taking advantage of what technology provides. Want to make a millennial’s day? Hand them a handwritten note folded up like a football or play an episode of Friends. A sense of calm will wash over the recipient as they recall a time when “adult” was not a verb—adults were our parents and teachers.
And yet here we are—adulting. We are working, managing our finances, facing our debts, and standing at the precipice of a changing world—for better or for worse. In the coming years, we will buy houses, make investments, have babies, and potentially move back in with our parents.
So… I’m going back to my science fair days, y’all. But instead of researching how the pH level of water affects the growth of pea plants (actual science fair project I conducted in 1998), I want to know more about millennials. I’m starting with millennials living and working in Brattleboro, VT.
- What do we care about?
- How do we engage with technology?
- What are our outlooks for the future?
- What are our thoughts on money and what choices do we make about how we spend it?
- How are we different as a group and how are we similar?
- And how does any or all of this impact the communities where we live and work?
Stay tuned! Our next blog post will feature stories and perspectives from millennial, Alex Fischer, Owner/Bookkeeper for Open Bookkeeping and Co-founding Collective Member for The Root Social Justice Center.
If you are a millennial and would like to connect with New Ground Creative, email email@example.com.