How Are Millennials Changing The Way We Live?

The last generation born to the 20th century is beginning to earn more responsibility and buying power in the economy, and our attitudes are beginning to influence how we live, work and play in a very real way.


A couple of Millennial attitudes to highlight are that we’re the generation with the least faith in institutions and have the highest support of political independents (50 percent of Millennials consider themselves politically unaffiliated according to Pew Research). We also like multitasking, are comfortable – if not addicted – to the Internet, and we feel secure maintaining some level of a public Internet life.

These broader attitudes are gradually disrupting the way we live, including how we travel, find news and consume media. We tend not to be confined to a preferred news outlet or car service, for example. Rather, we seek out the information or services that are providing the best option at any given moment. We don’t care as much where information or services come from; we care about the quality and relevance they offer to our lives.

Three examples that come to mind from my life:

  1. The News – How often have you visited The New York Times or Washington Post websites? Likely, not often. This is a big challenge for traditional newspapers looking to bridge into the digital space. News consumption is driven by social shares today, not by the newspaper delivered on your doorstep. To find news, Millennials search hashtags for trending stories on Twitter and click through what their friends are sharing on Facebook.
  2. Transportation – A quick Google Maps search for directions will give several options between Point A to Point B (car, bike, walking or transit). Living in D.C., which can be a nightmare to drive in during rush hour, I’ll search Google Maps to see if it will be faster to drive, metro or bike. If driving is the fastest, I’ll do a quick search to see if Lyft or Uber is surge pricing and by how much and select the cheaper option.
  3. Entertainment – Like many of my friends, I don’t have cable, but I do have an Apple TV and Netflix. I don’t have Sirius Radio, but I do listen to podcasts of my favorite radio programs. I will watch “Mad Men,” but not on AMC. I will listen to “Ted Radio Hour,” but not on NPR.

The takeaway: We are less committed to the institutions we trust, caring more about the value they provide to our lives at any given moment in time. And for us communicators: if the content we create is good, there’s a good chance Millennials will check it out even if we’re not a traditional content producer.

How do you see Millennial attitudes changing the way we live and work?

Photo Credit: TheeErin: Flickr Creative Commons

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