The M Word: Coming of Age

BreakingModern — “Millennial” is the buzzword that helps to solidify the emerging trend of not only a generational group of individuals, but an evolving, digitally-centric era in human history.

Millennials are studied, questioned and put under a many-lensed microscope to see just exactly where our world is headed. I’m a millennial and I’m under that microscope, so the why of these studies has always seemed somewhat obvious to me.

With an emerging generation there are bound to be new, emerging trends. Think of the economic boom after World War II, the polarization of young people during the Vietnam era or hair spray in the ’80s — they all meant something to the young people of those time, and they all (sort of) changed society.

coming of age

Millennials Age Too

With that said, the years are trudging on. While technically the youngest of us are 15 years old, the majority are in their mid- to late-twenties and above, which means our ideals are starting to look a little, just a little, like our predecessors.

Goldman Sachs released a report called “Millennials: Coming of Age,” which details an exhaustive number of facts about what the millennial world has so far consisted of, and projects where it might be going.

The big one? We’re finally looking for homes. And we might just be ready to fill those homes with children. There’s three large factors at work here: economic recovery, evolution and good ol’ time.

With jobs surging to highs we’ve never seen, it’s finally the right time to get a home. Now, “get” may mean rent or buy (it takes time to get a legitimate down payment), but I know, for myself, that more space today feels like a plus. This is at odds with the traveler mentality that many millennials have. I still have it, but I’d like something to come back to.

Evolutionarily speaking, we are still human, us millennials. Cyborgs aren’t quite a reality yet. So it makes sense that we would collectively come upon the procreate gene and want a nest, or cave or condo to fill with “generation question mark.” But it does amaze me that a Great Recession and disrupting technology could ward off this essential aspect of nature for a decade or so.

coming of age

The most interesting aspect of the Sachs report is the section on fitness. We are, and I agree with this whole-heartedly, strangely obsessed with fitness. Now, it may not be actual fitness — slipping on Nikes and pumping your “run” playlist on the way to McDonald’s doesn’t really count, and neither does buying a bunch of sweat-wicking Under Amour to wear in the La-Z-Boy — but even the allure of a fitter society seems to be in the air.

I imagine (and hope) that this will have an incredible effect on my generation’s lasting health, and therefore happiness. This is marred by the concept that we will be the first generation not to outlive our parents due to obesity. I’m not sure what side to believe. If we stay obese (which many in the U.S. are) we will not live long, happy and healthy, but if the concept of fitness is strong enough to actually induce a physically fit lifestyle, then we could rout those issues.

The millennial is certainly coming of age — it was just a matter of time. The world will continue to shift, and somewhere, in the middle of a sea of babies, perhaps things will settle. Taxis may be out of business, and physical stores won’t exist, but we’ll all be talking about Generation Z and why they prefer smarteyeballs over the real ones.

For BMod, I’m Daniel Zweier.

Featured Image Credit: Finally by Superfantastic via Flickr

Image Credit: Electronmikroskop by Tekniska museet via Flickr

Daniel Zweier

Author: Daniel Zweier

Based in Oakland, Daniel Zweier covers culture, travel and tech here at BreakingModern. Follow him on Twitter @dbzweier and on G+ at +DanielZweier

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