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A Millennial's Rebuttal to Being Classified as "The Cheapest Generation'?

During the month of October, we're exploring content focused on youth, specifically millennials and the Class of 2016. For our first post, we asked one of our interns, aka a millennial, to provide perspective on how she felt about the Atlantic labeling her a member of the "Cheapest Generation." Read Shandi's rebuttal to this classification below. 'When I was 24 years old, I had a kid, a house, a car, and a job with benefits. You really need to get it together, Shandi. What's wrong with you?'? I can't even begin to count the amount of times I've had this conversation with my parents. Not only does this not help people my age, it angers us. Does Generation X think that we're happy with what little we, the Millennials, have? Do they think we like being compared to Gen X, who seemingly had it all? We don't own cars ' we rent Zipcars. We don't own houses ' we rent tiny apartments in cities with three or so roommates. Twenty years after James Carville said, 'It's the economy, stupid,'? the phrase still rings true. Generations above us see us as being cheap and not investing in the things they bought at our age. We see it as the only choice we have. There is a difference in being cheap and being broke. A commenter on The Atlantic points out, 'Cheap is when you have money and refuse to spend it; frugal is when you don't spend the money you don't have.'? We are frugal. We are broke. We have nothing, other than a mountain of debt and maybe a Smartphone (if we can afford it). There is a common occurrence called 'The Lipstick Effect'?, which is when women spend money on beauty products during a recession. The idea is that people will still buy luxury goods in tough times but will buy goods that don't affect their bank account as greatly (i.e. buying lipstick vs. expensive clothing). Smartphones are the Millennials lipstick. Yes, they cost on average $1,700 a year (according to the Wall Street Journal), but that's less than what an average car costs per year ($8,946 according to AAA) or a mortgage payment (averaging $1,000 a month). When we were growing up, we were told to go to college and we'd get a good job. So we went to college, paid what seemed like a million dollars (hey, it's four times as expensive for a college education now than it was for Gen X), left with tens of thousands of dollars in debt (also ridiculously high when compared to the debt Gen X took out), and all the jobs vanished. On top of all of that, the housing market crashed. We saw our friends and family members get laid off and struggle with months of unemployment. We saw unpaid mortgage payments that led to massive foreclosures throughout the country. And all we could do was cross our fingers and apply to hundreds of jobs that we would never hear back from. If you were a Millennial, would you see buying a car or a house as the most important thing? I doubt it. Trust me, we would LOVE to be able to have those things ' it's just not in the cards right now. We scrape by, doing the best we can. A generation before us rose up above the Great Depression and fought in World War II. Tom Brokaw called them 'the Greatest Generation.'? The Millennials are entering the worst unemployment rates and economic state since the Great Depression. Our coming of age was defined by the September 11th attacks and we barely remember a time when our country wasn't at war. When the Greatest Generation persevered through their tough times, their frugality and self-determination was encouraged. The Millennials, however, are seen as cheap and entitled. There is no reason we should be viewed negatively for the same traits that were once celebrated. We are extremely educated and are already changing the way the world works. Never before has there been a time when a generation has had the ability to communicate the way the Millennials do. We have Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc. at our disposal at all times. We can reach millions of people who have the same wants and desires about their future with the click of a button, a creation of a group on Facebook, or a hashtag on Twitter. Mahatma Gandhi said, 'If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.'? We can band together and create a movement to change the future ' for the better. Interested in learning more about millennials? Make sure to register for our MITX Future M session on 'How the Class of 2016 Will Change the World of Marketing?'

  • 4 min read
  • October 9, 2012

A Millennial's Rebuttal to Being Classified as "The Cheapest Generation'?

During the month of October, we're exploring content focused on youth, specifically millennials and the Class of 2016. For our first post, we asked one of our interns, aka a millennial, to provide perspective on how she felt about the Atlantic labeling her a member of the "Cheapest Generation." Read Shandi's rebuttal to this classification below. 'When I was 24 years old, I had a kid, a house, a car, and a job with benefits. You really need to get it together, Shandi. What's wrong with you?'? I can't even begin to count the amount of times I've had this conversation with my parents. Not only does this not help people my age, it angers us. Does Generation X think that we're happy with what little we, the Millennials, have? Do they think we like being compared to Gen X, who seemingly had it all? We don't own cars ' we rent Zipcars. We don't own houses ' we rent tiny apartments in cities with three or so roommates. Twenty years after James Carville said, 'It's the economy, stupid,'? the phrase still rings true. Generations above us see us as being cheap and not investing in the things they bought at our age. We see it as the only choice we have. There is a difference in being cheap and being broke. A commenter on The Atlantic points out, 'Cheap is when you have money and refuse to spend it; frugal is when you don't spend the money you don't have.'? We are frugal. We are broke. We have nothing, other than a mountain of debt and maybe a Smartphone (if we can afford it). There is a common occurrence called 'The Lipstick Effect'?, which is when women spend money on beauty products during a recession. The idea is that people will still buy luxury goods in tough times but will buy goods that don't affect their bank account as greatly (i.e. buying lipstick vs. expensive clothing). Smartphones are the Millennials lipstick. Yes, they cost on average $1,700 a year (according to the Wall Street Journal), but that's less than what an average car costs per year ($8,946 according to AAA) or a mortgage payment (averaging $1,000 a month). When we were growing up, we were told to go to college and we'd get a good job. So we went to college, paid what seemed like a million dollars (hey, it's four times as expensive for a college education now than it was for Gen X), left with tens of thousands of dollars in debt (also ridiculously high when compared to the debt Gen X took out), and all the jobs vanished. On top of all of that, the housing market crashed. We saw our friends and family members get laid off and struggle with months of unemployment. We saw unpaid mortgage payments that led to massive foreclosures throughout the country. And all we could do was cross our fingers and apply to hundreds of jobs that we would never hear back from. If you were a Millennial, would you see buying a car or a house as the most important thing? I doubt it. Trust me, we would LOVE to be able to have those things ' it's just not in the cards right now. We scrape by, doing the best we can. A generation before us rose up above the Great Depression and fought in World War II. Tom Brokaw called them 'the Greatest Generation.'? The Millennials are entering the worst unemployment rates and economic state since the Great Depression. Our coming of age was defined by the September 11th attacks and we barely remember a time when our country wasn't at war. When the Greatest Generation persevered through their tough times, their frugality and self-determination was encouraged. The Millennials, however, are seen as cheap and entitled. There is no reason we should be viewed negatively for the same traits that were once celebrated. We are extremely educated and are already changing the way the world works. Never before has there been a time when a generation has had the ability to communicate the way the Millennials do. We have Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc. at our disposal at all times. We can reach millions of people who have the same wants and desires about their future with the click of a button, a creation of a group on Facebook, or a hashtag on Twitter. Mahatma Gandhi said, 'If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.'? We can band together and create a movement to change the future ' for the better. Interested in learning more about millennials? Make sure to register for our MITX Future M session on 'How the Class of 2016 Will Change the World of Marketing?'

How Many Scans to the Center of a Tootsie Pop?

After the holidays it's easy to feel as if there is nothing to look forward to, but luckily for me I'm taking a trip to London in a couple of weeks! To prepare for my trip I need to find my passport, start waking up early to prepare for jet lag, choose an umbrella that will keep my hair dry and frizz-free, and print out a copy of my e- ticket before I leave for the airport... or do I? Now with mobile ticketing I can skip that step and check-in to the flight with my smartphone and even go through security without a paper ticket. All I need to do is flash the barcode on my screen as I remove my shoes and swallow my pride to pose for the full body scanner. Mobile ticketing services are not only useful for impatient travelers, but also impatient event attendees, shoppers, and concert-goers. Marketers have been using websites such as mogotix.com and eventbrite.com to make pre-event activity and post-event recaps a breeze. These sites let promoters advertise events on social media outlets such as Facebook, keep track of ticket sales and attendance, and text mobile reminders. Consumers can easily purchase tickets for events online and then get in to the event by displaying a confirmation barcode on their screen. Beyond mobile ticketing, the digitization of our daily lives has been continuing to grow over the last year, and some analysts believe it will continue to develop until social media, mobile ticketing, video games, and mobile marketing all converge- think FourSquare Extreme. CEO of Schell Games, Jesse Schell, envisions a future where our world is basically a video game, and certain behavior earns you points, and those points earn you rewards. For example, an average day would look like this: You get up in the morning, and you brush your teeth. Your tooth brush senses that you're brushing your teeth and score! 10 points. You're supposed to brush your teeth for at least 3 minutes and you do, bonus! You've brushed your teeth three times a day, every day this week, so guess what? Another bonus! So who cares? The tooth brush company and the tooth paste company care. The more you brush your teeth, the more tooth paste you use, and that means they have a vested financial interest. With all of your toothbrushing points comes a coupon for $1.00 off a tube of toothpaste, which can be easily scanned next time you're using the self checkout at your local drugstore. Schell sees the use of shopping apps to determine where and when to shop and take advantage of the most points available, points for watching ads on television, and even tax incentives from the government for certain positive behaviors such as riding the bus and exercise. Technology is seeping into nearly every part of our lives, and the question for companies is: will all of this positive reinforcement change consumers' behavior? Sources: http://www.eventmarketer.com/article/digital-passport 'Digital Passport'? http://www.onthemedia.org/ 'The Future of Gaming'?

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