Millennials have found themselves in a conundrum. We are the generation of instant consumption – Tinder, Instagram, multiple hustles, dreaming outside of the traditional box and being socially famous. I for one love the millennial generation, we are technologically intelligent, no longer focused on the boundaries of not being educated enough in order to chase our dreams. In short, we are innovative, creative and I believe that our generation has the ability to change the world as we know it, what with the growth in business start ups (http://fortune.com/2016/02/20/millennial-entrepreneurs-study/) and no longer settling for the first thing that comes our way (unbiased of course). While this relates very well in terms of our careers and pushing ourselves to take risks to reach to where we want and not settling in the workplace, this may not necessarily help when it comes to relationships. Love requires time and patience for it to develop in most instances, not something that can be ordered and will arrive in 1 – 2 working days, it requires work and time; that it can be argued that Millennials do not have a lot of hence why they are now getting married much later, if at all (http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/millenials-marriage-children-higher-education-career-jobs-report-united-states-census-bureau-a7695881.html).
We are a generation that are not necessarily leaning on our parent’s model of what it means to be successful, getting a good education then finding a career that we can rest into for the next 30 or 40 years of our lives. We want to be creatively fulfilled; we want to break down walls and push further than our parents could ever think to do. There are many reasons for this, for a start, there is much less security financially than in our parents and more so our grandparents generation so we might as well take a risk or two to try and achieve our dreams. Further education holds a lot less weight than it did back then; unless you’re training to become a doctor or an engineer, is it worth the debt? As a result, we are infact much more likely to have multiple streams of income from multiple jobs rather than settle into one role (http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/working-9-to-5-(not-a-way-to-make-a-living). Besides that, because of the likes of Instagram and social media as a whole, there is a lot more access to the lifestyle of the rich and famous, travelling to exotic locations frequently, eating out for every meal and looking luxuriously perfect everyday of the week. We have a lot more to work and dream for than our parent’s generation and the path to success is no longer as easy or straightforward as before. Settling now feels like the weak way out, chickening out of the challenge and accepting the hand that you have been dealt.
However, unlike everything else that seems instant and within our reach that we see on Instagram, love cannot be easily digested and spat out. Love requires patience and time. We are always on the move, always trying to consume as much as possible, always trying to be ahead of the times and work towards our creative, next big thing idea – Where does love fit into all of all of this? One answer is through the numerous dating apps that are available at our disposal, Tinder and Bumble to name two but then this can contribute to the current hook-up culture and serial dating, treating it like a product to be consumed and be disposed of. Not just that but now it feels as though the intention behind these apps are warped, love is not really the intention, convenience is. We can match with someone while on our lunch break, meet with them for after work drinks then wave them goodbye the next morning just before rush hour, never to see them again. It can be thought then that we are a generation that does not necessarily have the patience for anything longer that.
Again, I believe at the heart of this transactional attitude of relationships and sex is because of social media. Platforms such as Instagram repeatedly tells us to live our best lives, we must be enjoying ourselves at every possible moment, living in the moment and making life as easy as possible and when the average Millennial weighs up the costs and benefits of being in love, it can be thought of as not always worth it. The days of suffering in silence and settling because it is the sensible decision to do can be thought to be over – We’re putting ourselves first now.
Another argument is in fact that this is nowhere near a new argument, throughout time; young people have been deciding on what is most important to them – Betting on a long prosperous career or a partner. The main difference is the availability of social media and how much it affects our decisions; we have a sensational amount of choice about the type of partners we draw in. Our attraction could be said to be more so based on whatever we are feeling at any particular moment, we aren’t looking for a partner, we’re looking for short bursts of fun; as temporary and disposable as our Instagram timelines.
So in the debate of what is most important to Millennial’s, love or money, money is a clear winner. As the generation of hustling hard and being our full creative selves, the time and energy is not there to invest in love. Working at love is hard work, it can take as much out of you as much as it can give and sure, there are definitely a lot more ways of getting in contact with potential partners but there are also many more ways to get rid of people who aren’t providing you with immediate gratification. The battle is then, what are we willing to fight for and right now, the battle goes to money.
By Chenai Chambers – Thomas
Founder of YWMagazine.co