Millennial Generation: The Role of Social Media

Subject: Entertainment & Media
Pages: 14
Words: 3936
Reading time:
15 min
Study level: Undergraduate

Introduction

The Millennial Generation is otherwise known as Generation Y, Generation Next or Net Generation. This statement describes a given demographic cohort that came after generation X. The members of Millennial Generation are habitually referred to as the Millennials or they can also be referred to as Echo Boomers. According to the available literature there are no specific dates regarding the time or period when the Millennial Generation commences and ends. However, various authors have used date of births that range between mid 1970s and early 200s. The Millennial Generation is said to represent a rise in the number of births beginning from 1980s and 1990s; this is not premised on the rise in birthrates but due to the reason that the large cohorts started to have children (Tulgan & Martin, 2001).

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In the United States of America the real “Echo Boom” spanned thirteen years which ran from 1982 to 1995. During the time, since 1964, the number of live birth amounted to record more than four million. The majority of the people who fall within Millennial Generation have been found to be culturally liberal; with respect to this, it is noted that many of the members of Millennial Generation have total tolerance to same sex marriage along with other politically moderate stances.

During the 20th century period, the trend of adopting small family sizes went on in the developed nations. Nonetheless, the relative impact of the so called “baby boob echo” was not given significant consideration as compared to the earlier boom. It is important to point out that the characteristics of the Millennial Generation can be identified in terms of regions with regards to economic and social factors. Even so, it is characterized by rise in the use and familiarity with communications. Besides, they do not have any problems with sexual activities outside matrimony. However, research findings indicate that in spite of the new dominant growth of liberals, there are some youths who have formed; new youth clubs and other relevant groups have been formed to ensure the promotion and preservation of conservative views and beliefs. This implies that as much as the members of the Millennial Generation have different beliefs and practices from the earlier generation, there are those belonging to the same generation who see the value in the conservative views and practices (Rowe, 2010).

In relation to spirituality and religion, according to research findings, the majority of those belonging to Millennial Generation believe in God; of cause there are those who do not believe in God and also those who are not sure of the existence of God, while there are also those who are aware of religion but do not identify themselves with any form of religious practices and hence do not attend any religious gathering. This paper will examine the nature of the Millennial Generation members with regards to media. In the process, the paper will examine the negative impacts of social media to the Millennial Generation in the workplace and also how social media plays a significant role in the professional and personal lives of the members belonging to this generation (Lindsley, 2004).

The frequency of social media use in the lives of millenials creates problems in the workplace

The Millennial Generation is compost of the children of the Boomers. It is notable, through several research findings that, as the Boomers get out of work place through retirement, the members of the Millennial Generation are quickly taking over and establishing their roots at the work place. One of the most conspicuous characteristics of this generation is that they are really digitally active yet they are said to have been born already plugged in (Johnson & Learned, 2004). It is notable that the members of Millennial Generation were born and brought up in the era of computers (Sladek, 2008). They have also been brought up in an environment full of mobile phones, internet connections, video games and mp3 players (Tapscott, 2009). The Millennial Generation members have been described as web savvy and are able to multitask, are able to watch televisions, surf the internet, and listen to both online and off the net music and make phone calls and sent text messages using mobile phones (Tapscott, 2009). The Millennial Generation members, most cases, perform these things either simultaneously or almost at the same time. They are always concerned bout the latest technologies and would always want to catch up with the technology. With regards to this, it is important to point out that this generation is not trend oriented; they jump from one trend to the other taking into account the latest trend available (Tapscott, 2009).

Even though the individuals within the Millennial Generation are some how obsessed with watching television, they do not really indulge into it as much as the earlier or other generations. Instead, they spend most of their time surfing the internet through computers, mobile phones, iPods and iPhones even when such activities eat into the time of television viewing. For this group of individuals, television sound is regarded as just background noise as they go about the major things of their concern (McTague, 2001).

The Millennial Generation has taken great advantage of the current technological advancement as regards the internet. There are several social websites connecting individuals all over the world irrespective of the geographical location and time zones. Such social websites include facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace, Twitter and badoo amongst many others. The most surprising thing is that the Millennial Generation people have become so much addicted to these social websites that they spend as much time as they can find surfing the social sites where they actually connect with friends and relatives, most of whom also belong to the same Millennial Generation (Turner, 2003).

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Due to such obsession with social sites, and given the fact that they are the ones dominating work place now, they spend much time at their workplaces surfing the internet and visiting sites that are not related to work they are supposed to do or employed to perform (Turner, 2003). So, it is not something new to find that a member of Millennial Generation using a computer in an office has opened other websites completely unrelated to the work they are employed to do.

Moreover, in many cases, they receive and send a lot of text messages through the phone while still working at the offices. Social researchers have argued that their research findings indicate that the people belonging to the Millennial Generation have short attention span and do not like reading longer printed or text messages; due to this, they actually like short messages which they can read and internalize very fast (Warner, 2006).

All these have significant impact on their performance at the work place. They are likely to under perform hence making their employers to loose in terms out work output. It is important to note that most business organizations and corporate organizations pay for internet connections they use for their operations; therefore, they experience some significant financial loss when the members of Millennial Generation employed in their systems spend a significant amount of time surfing work unrelated websites that are actually counterproductive for the organizations (Warner, 2006).

When it comes to work, the Millennial Generation does not consider it as a priority. They just go to work because they need to take care of their needs, both basic and luxury. This means that the Millennial Generation does not take work as a form of identity they can assume; it is just a place they find themselves in due to social and economic constraints. Several research findings indicate that the members of Millennial Generation do not see the reason most workplaces cannot be accommodative and cannot give benefits such as deciding to work from anywhere, flexible working hours, a culture that tolerates team communication and work environment that provides some sort of fun (Warner, 2006). Available literature also indicates that the members Millennial Generation are not able to just follow commands and instructions even from their bosses; instead, they would want to know reasons behind every what they are asked to do. This scenario presents the managers from other generations with great challenges on how to handle these Millennial Generation employees.

Another aspect of the Millennial Generation is that they are socially conscious. They are said to care so much about the world and the world issues, especially those of their personal interest. With regards to this, it can be said that they are great consumers of information. They always pay great attention top political issues, the matters of economy, social issues and environmental issues (Valko, 2008). They perceive themselves as a great force to be prepared for during elections and they tend to follow their preferred candidate through the internet using social networks where they are interconnected with friends. They also like reading news, though they do not like doing it in the format of a newspaper; researchers have found out that, with time, this is likely to harm the newspaper industry. The economic implication of this is that there will be reduced demand for newspapers as sources of news hence impacted on the number of employment positions within the industry (Valko, 2008).

The internet has enabled watching of television over the internet. Even though only few of the Boomers watch television online, this scenario is most prevalent amongst the members of the Millennial Generation members and they are very comfortable with that. It has also been noted that the people belonging to the Millennial Generation do not pay attention privacy when it comes to social sites. Instead, they post any information they deem important to them for posting in the social sites; in fact, some of these Millennial Generation members have learnt the hard way with regards to challenges they face by posting even sensitive information to the internet (Valko, 2008).

The Millennial Generation members are said to be internet savvy and for that matter will want a work environment that integrates the use of internet and other communication technologies. It is argued that due to this, the Millennial Generation will necessitate the adoption of technologies like Enterprise 2.0 products. This is already a big challenge to the employees belonging to the Boom generation who are not going to retire soon. Many of those belonging to Boomers generation do not have sufficient technological knowledge that the Millennial Generation people have, and when they work together, the Boomers generation are highly likely to face lots of challenges especially those who are at the top management level; this will mean that even controlling them at work is increasingly becoming difficult (Valko, 2008).

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The Millennial Generation members mostly prefer material rewards or what they can utilize immediately, unlike the Boomers who have been accustomed to performance appraisals and positive feedbacks. For the Millennial Generation, just giving positive feedbacks are not enough; they must be rewarded materially which may include financials (Alsop, 2008).

Several surveys that have been conducted about the performance of various employees based on generations have indicated that the employees belonging to Millennial Generation have poor performance as compared to employees from other generations. Many employers have expressed concerns that Millennial Generation employees are not good contributors of ideas yet they are very pragmatic and want everything to happen almost within a flash of time; but only after knowing the reason behind every of such actions. This gives employers and supervisors hard time in determining the way they should manage the employees of the Millennial Generation. However, this is not generalized about the Millennial Generation employees since other research findings have indicated that a significant number of employees belonging to Millennial Generation have demonstrated great performance at different work positions (Dorsey, 2009).

The nature of Millennial Generation has facilitated the change of systems and modes of managing employees, especially those from Millennial Generation. Companies have to spend a lot of money trying to reform their management structures in order to take care of the Millennial Generation employees. More money is also being spent to ensure that companies and organizations have in place the most current technologies that enable the Millennial Generation employees to work most efficiently and effectively. Besides, it has been noted that a great number of the Millennial Generation work force do not stay with an employers for long; they are constantly involved in job transitions as they look for more satisfying job opportunities. The consequent of this is that many companies or employers spend a lot of money training new recruits but end up losing vital talents and knowledge when the Millennial Generation employees are leaving for better opportunities (Dorsey, 2009).

Again, unlike, the older generations, the Millenials are motivated by work that they value to them; this implies that their performance at the work place is dependent on whether they perceive the work as having value to them or not (Dorsey, 2009).

Another important thing to note about the Millennial Generation is that most of them are never looking for a career, like those born in other generations, they are simply looking for a meaningful and satisfying work that meets their current needs and suites their preferred time. It therefore implies that they may decide to work for a company long-term if the work they are doing is meaningful and present positive challenges to them. The problem with this is that employers no longer have a greater control over employees and probably are probably left without proper information on when the employees are likely to leave for another employment opportunity elsewhere. In brief, the employees belonging to Millennial Generation are not easy to predict in terms of what they are thinking about their next move (Dorsey, 2009).

The other problem arising in the workplace due to influence of social media on the members of Millennial Generation is that it is difficult for this group of individuals to decipher the distinction between professional and private life. This is due to the fact that the social media have come to be used for both professional and personal lifestyles. Therefore, it is increasingly becoming difficult for the employees belonging to Millennial Generation to determine the extend to which they should use the social media for personal issues such that they are used mainly for professional purposes while at the job place. This problem is coupled by the fact that it is almost impossible to ban the use of the social media at workplace since they are an integral part of a company’s or organization’s operations (Dorsey, 2009).

How the social media plays a large role in the professional and personal lives of the Millenials

It is important to note that social media has a great impact in the professional and personal lives of Millenials. One thing that has become very relevant in the professional lives of the Millennial Generation employees is that they share their professional ideas and opinions through the social media. They are able to organize even video conferences in the internet where they discuss professional matters. So, it is crucial to note that most of professionals belonging to millennial generation have adopted the use of social media in sharing ideas. In terms of sharing ideas, they use social sites such as LinkedIn where they post information about their professional activities. Moreover, communications and have also been enabled through the internet making it easier for them to conduct business activities via internet without necessarily physically traveling to meet for a transactions. In relation to this, they have also adopted the mode of making t7eir payments via internet; this is not very common with the Baby boomers generation (Evans, 2008).

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Employers, especially human resource managers, are gradually adopting the use of social media in recruiting new employees. This is because the Millenials are greatly in touch with the social media. Therefore, many Millennials are finding jobs through social media sites where they interact with professionals who are seeking to recruit new employees for their companies. So, it is vivid that social media, to the Millennials, are not just for interacting with friends and relatives, but also a place where they interact with their potential employers (Evans, 2008).

Many Millennial managers have also adopted the use of social media for advertising purposes. The marketing manages who belong to this generation are well aware of how much the Millenials make use social media hence they have incorporated the use of social media in their company’s marketing communications. For this reason, it common to find company adverts appearing within the social media especially in the internet. As a matter of fact, the number of social media is increasing at an alarming rate and this is explained by increased use of the media by the Millennials who form the majority of the world’s population. Every technology used by the members of this generation incorporates some form of advertisement, particular those that touch on products targeting specific market segments where Millennials are likely to be found (Evans, 2008).

There are also an increasing number of members of the millennial generation who are creating online profiles in which they write their professional details to be viewed by people world over. These online profiles are created in the social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Myspace amongst other social sites. These online profiles serve as the Millenials’ virtual business cards and make it easy for them to connect with other like minded professionals. This is considered as the step that should be taken as the process of adopting a new social media strategy (Evans, 2008).

Some times it is not easy to confidently express personal opinions to others, especially to seniors. Most of these people have used the social media to confidently express their ideas and opinions about certain issues both at the workplace and outside work environment. The Millenials have realized that they can confront their seniors using social media on what they think about a given issue. In this case, they have made use of social media to confidently talk to their employers and supervisors. This is reinforced by the fact that they always have their own ways of doing things and would utilize all means available to help them get their message of opinions through. Again, this also poses serious challenges to managers and supervisors as they are forced to find ways of handling such confrontations without necessarily having demoralized the employees belonging to Millennial Generation (Evans, 2008).

It is noteworthy of the fact that at private level, the Millennials have also adopted the use of social sites at personal level. They use social media to exchange greetings with friends and relatives. Moreover, on social media like facebook and Myspace, to inform their friends and relatives of where they are, what they are doing and even the plans they have. Furthermore, it is not uncommon to find the Millenials sharing their sorrows with online friends. They usually send their condolences to friends and or relatives who are bereaved; they also express their sorrow about any misfortune that might befall one of their friends through the internet (Evans, 2008).

The members of the Millennial Generation are also known not to have much interest in following traditional norms. It seems to have been following things depending on their own perceptions. This is especially seen with regards to forming intimate relationships. Unlike the traditional way of negotiating a relationship on face-to-face basis, they have adopted the strategy of meeting their partners through the social media. Several research findings reveal that many Millennial Generation couples met through the social media like the internet; in this case, it means that one can find a life partner through the internet and finally settle down in marriage. In fact, this is explained by the fact that courtship period is no longer necessary to be long before settling down for marriages (Evans, 2008).

It will also be great to point out that the many social media available in the 21st century are serving almost differentiated social purposes. For instance, all social media are used for similar purpose and that is socializing. However, through research, it has been noted that Myspace is mainly composed of those who are engaged sin pop-culture and other forms of music, YouTube is used mostly by those who would love to share their videos through the internet, LinkedIn is more tailored for those who are business experts and FaceBook seem to be a bit more general as it has both professionals and those who are just having simple social exchanges (Evans, 2008).

The Millennial generation members have also adopted the use of blogs in sharing ideas and driving their collective agenda within the internet community. Blogs are the newest form of social media and has played a major role in facilitating debates about various issues discussed online by these members of the Millennial Generation (Evans, 2008).

Conclusion

The Millennial Generation is otherwise known as Generation Y, Generation Next or Net Generation. This statement describes a given demographic cohort that came after generation X. The members of Millennial Generation are habitually referred to as the Millennials or they can also be referred to as Echo Boomers. The Millennials are compost of the children of the Boomers. The characteristics of the Millennial Generation can be identified in terms of regions with regards to economic and social factors. Research findings show that as the Boomers get out of workplace through retirement, the members of the Millennial Generation are quickly taking over the workplace (Tulgan & Martin, 2001).

It has been noted that the members of the Millennial Generation employed in their systems spend a significant amount of time surfing work unrelated websites (McTague, 2001). They do not consider work as a priority; they just go to work because they need to take care of their needs, both basic and luxury. This means that the Millennial Generation does not take work as a form of identity they can assume; it is just a place they find themselves in due to social and economic constraints. Besides, Millennial Generation members are socially conscious. They are said to care so much about the world and world issues, especially those of their personal interest. They always pay great attention top political issues, the matters of economy, social issues and environmental issues. Moreover, are said to be internet savvy and for that matter will want a work environment that integrates the use of internet and other communication technologies.

Social media has a great impact in the professional and personal lives of the Millenials; that they share their professional ideas and opinions through social media. Even employers, especially human resource managers, have been forced to adopt the use of social media in recruiting new employees. Many Millennial managers have also adopted the use of social media for advertising purposes. The marketing manages who belong to this generation are well aware of how much the Millenials make use social media hence they have incorporated the use of social media in their company’s marketing communications.

It is also important to note the fact that at a private level, the Millennials have also adopted the use of social sites at personal level. They use social media to exchange greetings with friends and relatives. Moreover, on social media like facebook and Myspace, to inform their friends and relatives of where they are, what they are doing and even the plans they have either for the day or a given period of time. It is therefore notable that social media has brought a lot of interference at the work place in relation to their influence to the members of the Millennial Generation (Evans, 2008).

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