Millennials (also known as Generation Y) is the generation of people born between the early 1980s and the mid ’90s. This group is currently in their early 20s to mid 30s.
Millenials –myself among them– have been both hailed and criticized. This generation introduced digital technology on a massive scale, yet has also been seen to have a greater sense of entitlement and lack of concern for others than previous generations.
One criticism, which I happen to believe is true of this group, is that it is the Peter Pan Generation. This set, particularly the males, simply does not want to grow up and assume the responsibilities of adulthood such as career, marriage, family, and planning for a future beyond the next few months. It is not uncommon to find a 31 year old who has made little to no headway in establishing a career and still considers themselves “too young” to be tied down with a spouse.
When the eldest segment of Generation Y was in their early 20s, everyone believed they would grow up by their late 20s. Now, in their early 30s, many are still of the mindset that they are young and have much to explore before settling into a boring life of work and family. Some have one without the other — a career but no interest in a settled life of marriage/civil union or family, children but no interest in marriage and no career prospects.
I believe this global lack of responsibility has real consequences for the future. Innovation and individuality is to be embraced. However, the lack of any true concern for the foundations of most societies — home, family, and hard work, can upset the order and welfare of society as a whole, causing a ripple effect which cultures may never recover from. Future generations need a solid base from which to grow and form their own lives as adults, yet it seems that Generation Y may not provide that.
What do you think? Is Generation Y, especially the males of this generation, afflicted with Peter Pan Syndrome? If so, what do you think the causes are and what will the consequences be?