Tuesday 20 February 2018

9 reasons being a 'Millennial' is exhausting

Being a member of Generation Y isn't easy, Clare Cullen writes

Clare Cullen

Clare Cullen

'Millennial' is the name given to members of the Millennial Generation, otherwise known as the Generation Y.

Following on from 'Generation X', the 'Millennials' are accepted to be those born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s.

You'll be able to sport a Millennial because they have their heads firmly planted in their phones - the 20-something who talks about Twitter constantly or that gets all their news from Facebook. The social media manager or YouTube content creator who is always up to date with what's 'trending' today, and gets more excited about virtual likes on photographs than the activity itself.

Here are 5 reasons why being a 'Millennial' is exhausting.


1. Never-ending consumption of information.

One of the main traits of being a 'Millennial' is the inability to disconnect - literally. We constantly consume information online, via phones, tablets and computers. Many Millennials, like myself, work in information or social media based roles, which involve the constant monitoring of online and digital trends and consuming and disseminating of information.

Even in the Millennial's personal life, the competition exists to be the first to create, find or share content with your peers.

This can lead to mental fatigue, and can feel like the only escape is sleep, which many Millennials don't leave enough time for.


2. Inability to 'switch off' and the physical consequences

Millennials are interacting with technology from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep. One study found that 90pc of young adults check their smartphone first thing in the morning, often before they get out of bed.

 In particular, checking phones and emails before bed has detrimental effects on sleeping patterns and many Millennials are sacrificing their sleep patterns altogether to stay up late on Facebook, Tumblr or watching Netflix.


3. Shorter attention span

Almost everything we consume or create is in the form of a bullet pointed list. The popularity of lists online is a result of attention spans getting shorter and shorter. the harder it is to read anything not in a list format. Often I find myself skimming lists and reading only the emboldened bullet points before moving on to the next piece of information.


4. Oversharing

The need exists, within Millennials, to share every aspect of their lives. Millennials can often be seen at various events with their heads planted firmly in their phones while they tweet about how much fun they are having. This results in a lessened experience of the event and a heightened disconnect from the real world.


5. Inability to concentrate on one task

The life-blood of the millenial is being able to multi-task, to be on Facebook while watching television while watching videos on YouTube. This leaves us with an inability to concentrate on the task in hand without some pressing need or urge to do something else before we're finished. Also, the Millenial need to be 'current' means that projects can be dropped halfway if something newer and more up-to-date comes along. This often results in half-finished tasks and abandoned projects. This can lead to feeling (and being) very disorganised and scattered.


6. Inability to relax

A millenial's version of 'relaxing' has become more information consumption. I personally can't sit down and relax without being on my computer, my phone or watching the TV. When I reach a certain stage of information fatigue, even reading feels like more of the same. Even sleep provides little escape as it's poor, disturbed and often involves dreams about tweeting.


7. Learning lessons - over and over

Millennials are sharing more and more information about themselves, and unfortunately, no matter how 'au fait' you think you are with what you should and shouldn't share, even the most savvy of us will commit regular social faux pas. Each person reading your tweets could be offended by something different and the most innocent of expressions can be wholly misunderstood or lost in translation online.


8. Real life disconnect

For a generation so connected, Milennials can often find themselves disconnected from friends in real life. I personally talk to my friends more through apps, online games, social networks and texts than face-to-face or even over the phone.


9. Obsession with interaction

Milennials can become obsessed with interactions - how many followers they have, who follows them, how many people tweeted them, liked their pictures or watched their YouTube videos. This is a direct consequence of number four; over-sharing. The tendency to over-share can be encouraged and exacerbate by the validation received from interaction. Simply put, the more people that 'like' their posts, the better a Millennial will feel about their lives. This is dangerous, sad, and something I definitely suffer from.

 If you've ever deleted something because it didn't get as many likes as you expected it to, perhaps you have some Millennial tendencies.


Are you a Milennial? Do you find today's online world exhausting or liberating? Let us know in the comments.

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