Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
The world rests on the youth. But what kind of a world we will leave them, no one yet knows. A world without security, without sustainability, a world of uncertainty and fragmentation. The noise and speed of the Internet. The young members of the millennial generation, born at the end of the last century somewhere between 1980 and 2000, grew up outside of our sphere of vision, in the maelstrom of the virtual world that is their predominant reality.
To us – the people of the last century – they seem elusive. We chased them on Facebook, but they’ve long abandoned it. Twitter never interested them much, unless they had to use it for work (ie usually their current job). Occasionally we meet them on Instagram, although the youngest ones are already slowly fleeing to Snapchat because of its instantaneity and elusiveness. Instead of tablets, they use a phone which, in their view, is quite a misnomer, because the millennium generation doesn’t phone. Making phone calls, especially out of the blue and without a prior sms such as: ‘can I call you’, is considered an incredibly rude breach of privacy boundaries. The millennial generation doesn’t read newspapers and they don’t watch television. They watch their favorite programs mainly through the Internet on their mobile devices, when they want, where they want and as much as they want – all at once or in very small bites. They get news from aggregators (like BuzzFeed or HuffPost, for those who are a little older and more serious), websites that have sifted through the news articles, shortened them, chewed them and algorithmically adjusted them to their interests for easy consumption.
The millennial generation takes everything in bits. They don’t expect to have a single, permanent job for their entire career. They don’t expect to have steady relationships, they don’t date, they don’t court, and they rarely go out as a couple. They form partnership relationships; traditional marriage and family much later and much less frequently than the previous generations. Until then, they treat their partners like TV programs – they see them when they want, how they want and as much as they feel like, usually occasionally, until some more interesting offer appears. So no firm commitments, and no bonds.
The millennial generation doesn’t have the habit of being attached to anything. They despise cable packages and don’t go to the stores. Whenever they can, they mostly buy online – from sneakers and toothpaste to pizza and their favorite movies.
The millennial generation doesn’t go to the movies, except for Hollywood super hero spectacles that are more than the theater, and more like a gathering of the like-minded. If the movie is not three-dimensional and computer-effective, there is no reason to spend their money and time to go to the movies. They’ll just watch it on their mobile devices, when it crosses their mind and when it suits them. The millennial generation doesn’t like to be dictated what, where and how. They love the thrill of wandering (on the web) and discovery. The millennial generation visits museums more than theatres. In museums they can decide for themselves what to look at and for how long. They can move around and don’t have to turn off their mobile devices, which are still archaically called phones.
They are their own program editors and curators. Their taste is varied and elusive. They sometimes watch old movies and despise shows aimed at their generation. Mean Girls is currently high on the retro list; the show Girls, which is about the millennial generation, not so much. After all, Lena Dunham, the author of the series, crossed to the other side, joining her best friend Hillary Clinton in her political campaign. Hillary is not a favorite among the millennial representatives. Most of the millennial generation supports Bernie Sanders or, in the poorer and less enlightened strata, Donald Trump. Both are expected to deliver them from social hopelessness.
The millennial generation is much more concerned about environmental protection than about privacy and political freedoms. The millennial generation doesn’t smoke, believes in the legalization of marijuana and is more prone to legal (the kind prescribed by doctors) and illegal drugs, than to alcohol. Drugs & Digital is their mantra.
Of course, it’s difficult to put an entire generation into a few compartments. The millennial generation, like any other generation, is different depending on their social status, background and place of residence. But some things are common. Ask your nearest representative. You’ll see that the millennial generation from hipster Brooklyn is not much different from the representatives of some of your nearby hip urban places. Of course, we all live in our own little insulated bubbles, and it’s hard to argue that someone from Kansas has the same habits as someone from Manhattan. Yet some things are generational. You probably remember this from the time when your generation was an enigma to your parents. But the differences have never been so drastic. Something still connected us to our parents. Of course, I also didn’t read the newspaper much when I was young. I tended to go for girl magazines than “serious” news. But at least we watched the same movies, and the same shows at the same time on the same TV. My grandmother Mina may not have had several-hours-long telephone conversations, but she still occasionally called her friend to see how she was. Both my grandmother and I used the same means of communication, and we could also talk about the new episodes of some show.
My parents, willingly or unwillingly, every now and then heard a Beatles song, simply because the generations didn’t live in isolation, each in their own worlds. The millennial generation, however, is a real mystery, even for those who pretend to know them, like the trend researchers, marketing experts, strategists, politicians and all the others who, because of the nature of their job, should have a clear picture of this most vital consumer group. Whatever we may think of them, we actually don’t know where they are, what they do and what their hopes are. The millennial generation eludes us just like their pictures on Snapchat. We can’t catch them. The millennial generation can be both liberal and conservative, even backward, depending on their level of education and social status, and it is not socially revolutionary. They have no illusions, no ideals and there’s no singing of Give Peace a Chance. But they also don’t dream of big bucks and don’t claim that greed is good, as the yuppie Generation X before them. Millennials expect to be constantly entertained by a variety of content, usually free; to be constantly connected, but without personal harassment, to be informed, but only about things of their own choosing. They are the generation of Snapchat and Vice. They’re used to shocking images that they sometimes exchange without really digging deep. Because they know. They know … that nothing lasts. Just like in Snapchat, everything before eyes is there for a moment, and then irreversibly disappears forever. That’s why they don’t permanently bind to anything. They browse, choose, change, update. At least that’s how they seem from here, from where I look – from another time. I’m sure they would just shrug their shoulders and say, “she’s clueless”. And that’s the only truth: I’m clueless. I don’t know what their dreams are, or what is happening to them. Do you?