Writing for Young Adults: Useful things to know about Millennials
Ian Dexter Palmer
What are the ages of Millennials?
First you have the Baby Boomers, born in 1943-1960 (for example Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks).
Then Generation X, born 1961-1980 (examples are Jennifer Lopez and Jon Stewart).
Finally the Millennials, born 1980-2000 (e.g. Mark Zuckerberg and Lady Gaga). In 2015 Millennials are aged 15 – 35.
What do Millennials believe? How do they think? How do they act? **
- Entitlement: 40% believe they should be promoted every two years, regardless of performance.
- Almost 60% of college students scored higher on a narcissism scale in 2009 than in 1982 (narcissistic means highly selfish and self-centered).
- Many millennials are enamored of celebrities (like Kim Kardashian).
- 60% of millennials say in any situation requiring morality they will just be able to feel what’s right.
- They send and receive on average 88 texts a day. 70% of them check their cellphones every hour. They want constant approval, and have great fear of missing out.
- Their development tends to be stunted because they are influenced mostly by peers, and less by adults who actually know more about life.
- Their creativity tends to be stifled by a constant search for a dopamine hit if/when someone likes their latest Facebook post.
- Millennials are nice. They are 90-10 positive on the internet. They are more accepting of differences……gays, women, minorities and everyone.
- They don’t respect authority but they don’t resent it, so they don’t rebel against authority.
- They challenge convention…….want to find new and better ways to do things.
- They want new experiences, which are more important to them than material goods.
- Millennials are not into church, even though they believe in God, because they don’t identify with big institutions. One third of adults under 30 are not affiliated with religions (biggest percentage ever).
If you are writing about Young Adults, you may be able to capture some of these Millennial characteristics. For example, in my book Weed and Water about a young man going down, the main character Ethan at one point resists the concepts and dogma of the church as institution. Reluctantly though, he agrees to go to a local church, but only if the pastor doesn’t preach about judgment stuff. If the pastor does this, Ethan says he is out of there.
At other times, Ethan uses his iPhone as an escape from the hurt and shame that has entered his life.
The Gray Nomad writes blogs and books on a variety of spiritual-based topics. See www.IanDexterPalmer.com.
** The New Greatest Generation, by Joel Stein (Time Magazine, 20 May 2013).