By Monica Sanchez
Just like fashion, values and trends recycle themselves, which is why Millennials have inadvertently become the new hippies. That’s probably why society is so obsessed with and shocked by them. All that deviation from traditional values, obnoxious optimism, kale and other green stuff rings a far too familiar tone of the past that some people are embarrassed by and would much rather forget. But the follies of youth have come back to haunt those individuals in the form of the Millennial Dream.
If it’s gone unnoticed, the Millennial hipster is the new hippie because Millennials just aren’t plagued by the same concerns as their parents or grandparents. And it’s not because they’re spoiled or lazy, as some people might claim. The general apathy Millennials have toward some concerns about the standard for living simply stems from different values that have developed in light of a changing world.
Compare Millennials and hippies after reviewing these three concerns that Millennials just aren’t worried about:
The “must haves” for previous generations are merely a passing thought for Millennials (Goldman Sachs). They don’t feel empty inside if their home lacks a dining room table or their bed is missing a frame. Ever since society has grown less and less formal, traditional furniture that was once viewed as a necessity is simply an extra expense that no smart Millennial will go out of their way to obtain.
Plus, Millennials would much rather spend money on experiences rather than material possessions. If they’re in dire need of furniture, they’ll just pop down to their local thrift store, find something that still holds up, slap some paint on it, and call it a day. Millennials are more likely to attempt DIY challenges anyway because it’s trendy, unique, and most importantly, inexpensive.
Millennials have infamously become known as “the renter generation” (Money Marks & Media). Of course, Millennials would love to own a home, but more and more Millennials are putting off committing to big purchases. Big ticket items, such as cars and tvs, are also not getting a whole lot of Millennial love, due to the inevitable promise of the almost everlasting fiery flames of debt. (Goldman Sachs).
When it comes to finances, Millennials do not want to rush into anything they believe they can’t handle. After seeing the traditional American lifestyle of never ending incurring debt from their parents and grandparents, Millennials feel somewhat jaded about the overall benefits of big purchases, such as home ownership.
If you know a Millennial who’s unwilling to settle down just yet, perhaps they’re just exploring their options due to a rightful fear of financial responsibility. Or maybe Millennials simply want to enjoy what life has to offer before calling it quits, walking straight off the plank and diving into a lifetime of financial burden.
Working a 9-5.
A 9-5 job position typically holds the promise of employee benefits, such as health insurance, dental insurance, and a steady well-paying salary. But when applying to jobs, the first thing Millennials look for are other perks and not the salary or insurance.
Some companies have caught on quick to this shift in values. For instance, Snapchat and Amazon send job candidates they’re interested in swag bags, which might sway a Millennial’s decision about a job offer. And other companies are allowing pets at work now or offering free drinks or food for their employees, on site psychics, extended vacation days, or anything unique that would serve as bait to reel in all the skilled Millennials.
A sense of freedom is important to Millennials. Millennials want to be comfortable at work and not feel trapped. If there is less rigidity in the work schedule, then Millennials are more likely to give that prospective industry or position their attention and time. Millennials still work full-time, no matter what industry they’re in, but they will opt for a full-time position that gives them the freedom to choose when they want to work rather than a strict, chained-at-the-desk schedule.
Yes, Millennials and their non-traditional, wanna-be hippie values deviate from the norm. But are they wrong? As human beings, our differences define us. And unless a person is the scum of the earth and comparable to Hitler, those differences should be celebrated. Wouldn’t it be an incredibly boring world if we all lived the same exact type of life and never encountered someone with different experiences than our own?
Before passing judgment or lecturing another Millennial, also think about how values change and develop as we journey through the stages of life. Remember, Millennials are right where they need to be. Their carefree attitude toward these and other concerns regarding the standard for living is not detrimental to their livelihood or character. And in the end, such views bring color and diversity that is needed to brighten up the world and challenge us to think differently.