Whenever we hear ‘Generation next’ or ‘youth’, it immediately creates an image in our mind of young brats, gaming, pubbing and shopping. Some call it post digitalization generation, some call it post globalization and some post liberalization. It actually is a generation created out of sum of all of this. There are both good and bad traits of this generation however I would like to state the five positive characteristics that particularly interest and impress me. These are not trends; these are the impact, the after result of the trends. These are the behavioral traits or values which I think will play important role in shaping the future.
1) Generation innovation
4) Socio-eco friendly
1) Generation innovation
In first half of their lives, my parents only saw 2 big innovations –television and telephone, in first twenty years of my life I saw 4 – color television, pager, mobile phone and internet. But today’s generation see an innovation every year. iPod to iPhone to iPad 1-2-3 and so on. There is no end. And these innovations aren’t the right of exclusive rich like some of the earlier ones were, for the initial years. These are meant to be accessible right from its inception. Some tech students in Hyderabad, India have created ‘Akash’ an android tablet like iPad to be sold for just 60 USD so yes we are talking masses here. What does this really mean for this generation and what is the decoded value it creates. It means progression; it means confidence of better tomorrow. There is a visible belief of ‘anything is possible’ in our lifetime itself. MTV now calls this breed of youth as ‘generation innovation’ and I agree with them.
2) Google brain
The minute we hear an unfamiliar idea, concept, the first instinct that comes to us is ‘lets google it’. Google is now our alternate brain. Some people think it reduces brain power to think on our own but I think it instead creates more mind space to grab new and more information. And this is a much more advanced information storage system as anything can be retrieved even if forgotten with just a click of button. It also levels the playing field for all, when it comes to information. Information is no longer the advantage of few privileged ones. This generation has now realized this and understands that having the information is not going to give them the edge, what will make the difference is what one does with this information. This is where the transition from more information to faster innovation happens.
Gays, singles, single moms, married, career focused, home maker, there is a place for anyone and everyone. Thanks to social networking, this is probably the most well networked generation however it is also the only generation which understands and gives the required space to each other. Nobody looks down upon the other. To each one their own, is the new philosophy of life. There are no rights and wrongs, no blacks and whites, as they realize that the real truth lives in greys and which is where we all operate most times. This may be truer for certain parts of the world than the other but it is an increasing approach of life. Though a slow, crawling change but if it continues to be the approach, it will make living easy and frees up the mind space of every one to focus on progression or to focus on eradicating real issues like poverty, illiteracy, that come in way of progression
4) Socio-eco friendly
While digitalization was the good thing they inherited, the environmental and socio-political instability is the bad that came along in the inheritance. Wars can probably be justified but this generation saw the unexplainable terrorism, be it the 9/11, Mumbai blasts or the Mumbai 26/11attacks. They also saw the worst of natural calamities like Japan &SEA tsunami, earthquakes etc. They also witness one of highest level of corruptions in many nations. So what has this led to? This has actually made them a more socio-eco conscious generation. They realize that it’s probably only up to them to save themselves and the coming generations from the possible socio-eco instability. This is why the growing popularity of eco- friendly, green products and the increasing number of candle light marches and the socio-political blogs and uploads, the new way to make the change.
5) Larger than life
Live life Kingsize is the new way of living. This has been possible through multiple means. There are growing number of online ventures like ‘bagsutra.com’ where you can rent original designer bags for a week at a nominal cost. So who says you need to afford a Chanel to carry a Chanel bag. Websites like ‘group on’, ‘gobble’ offering discounted deals, have made rich lifestyle no longer the privilege of the rich. You can get deals for spas, restaurants, holidays, everything that is needed to make your life bigger, comfortable, stylish and lavish, much more than it otherwise would have been. And then there is the king of all enablers –Facebook which gives you your 2 minutes of fame, making your picture, your moment, your story larger than life. This in some way narrows the gap between the classes and importantly creates opportunities and new zest to life.
This is not a comprehensive list nor is it a definitive, measured behaviors. This is just the five positive aspects that make me feel excited to be part of this generation. Does it excite you as well?
If my thoughts trigger a thought of your own, do leave a comment. I love reading them.