The Zillennial Struggle — the Truth about How the New Generation is Suffering
If you’re not ready to hear about some dark and twisted truths which the new generation is dealing with, I urge you to stop right here. Do not continue to read this article. This isn’t a trigger warning. This is one of those moments where you would rather be in the dark and not know what’s happening, just so you can spare yourself from the agitation of knowing the truth and not being able to do anything about it. After all, ignorance is bliss.
If you’re still here and reading this, you may already be familiar with the Zillennial term. The term Zillennial applies to those who are too young to be proper millennials, but too old to be Gen Z. I’m not going to get into details about what constitutes a Millennial or a Gen Z, you know if you fit in there or not.
While I’m a human who believes in science and relies on it to make informed decisions, I’m not going to be giving you statistics about what I’m about to discuss with you. I’m going to tell you my observations and what I know to be the struggle that, we, the new generation are dealing with and don’t know how to overcome. You may read a few predictions which you should want to ponder about.
While we’re pondering, have you thought about why on certain days you get sick of social media? You may even get sick of your phone completely. I know you’ve thought about it. You know exactly what it’s about. You came across Julia’s post, your friend from high school. She’s partnered with a massive brand and has shared a few Instagram stories, clearly labelled as a partnership advertisement.
“Who cares what Julia is up to?” you say as you throw your phone on your bed and go on about your day. Maybe Rob bought himself a flat with a sick view. Sara got engaged. Sharon is now studying in Sweden. Ali got a new car and is now on a road trip with her newly-engaged finance, Natalie.
Give me a break.
I’ve had enough.
Yeah, me too! We say all the above but then we’re back on our phones, repeating the same behaviour again a week or two later. I know you’re thinking “I’ve watched The Social Dilemma … are you going to repeat what I already know?”
I’m not in the business of repeating the truth. You already know that your emotions are getting hijacked by the big social network corporations as they manipulate your addicting tendencies with their dopamine-inducing user experiences. But what happens next? That is my question. Have you noticed what people with addictions struggle with? Bad decisions.
Do you know what bad decisions lead to? Regret. Regret to anger. Anger to isolation. Isolation to disconnection. Disconnected, we get resentful. And now imagine, a whole bunch of people being resentful, even only momentarily, they all become divided.
This all began because Julia wanted to make a living and she created this image of herself on social media that pays her little money compared to what big corporations make. It’s not Julia’s fault at all. It’s not your fault at all either.
The first Zillennial struggle is that we are fighting an environment that has rewarded technology products that hijack emotions and reduce the quality of our mental well-being.
You’re probably thinking, maybe that is the reason I’m always thinking about quitting my job. Because I’m unhappy every day, I sometimes think it’s my job. Maybe if I quit my job, I’ll be happier.
Actually, yes you will be happier when you quit your job. But not because your environment is making you but it is actually your job.
The reason that corporations are being allowed to create manipulative products is the same reason you are unhappy at your job. Our generation is believe it or not, different, so different than its previous ones. We actually care about social change. We care about mental health. We care about the quality of life. We avoid unhealthy food. We saw our grandparents, uncles and aunts suffer from cancer and we not only want to cure cancer but most importantly prevent it.
The reason you want to quit is that you care. And your job doesn’t allow you to care. It allows you to come up with a solution to increase the revenue of the company but the revenue of the company is not a measure of societal well-being. This brings me to the second Zillennial struggle.
Capitalism is heading in the wrong direction by not embracing social responsibility and as a result, leading to job dissatisfaction among Zillennials.
The above statement actually leads me to a prediction. Entrepreneurship and small business will be on the rise indefinitely in the future. ‘Small Business Owner’ will be the title of many of our friends and for that, I am not only happy but also grateful because they will be the soldiers fighting the wrong direction capitalism has taken.
Speaking of wrong directions, let’s have a chat about education. Would you agree with me when I say “higher education is losing its reputation”?
I know you do. That is not because we have realized that education is no longer education but a business of putting us in debt but also for the fact that the ocean of information available to all of us allows us to pursue any job that we want. I won’t discuss how the privilege of options has led to decision making exhaustion among the new generation. I will discuss that regardless of our education, we are doomed by automation.
Automation is amazing, why would it be the death of us? Well, it will be the death of us until the government comes up with a solution to either provide universal income to those who will be jobless or food coupons to those who will be jobless. I think universal income sounds a lot better.
The Zillennials will be homeless? No, not all Zillennials will be homeless but more would be homeless than the previous generation and not by a linear measure, but an exponential one.
“Let them eat cake.” — says the Robot Manufacturer.
The third Zillennial struggle is that higher education will be inadequate as it completely loses its reputation and jobs will scarce as automation takes over.
My optimistic side says that it won’t be as bad as I am thinking. My pessimistic side says it can actually be worse. I do think we will have government intervention either in education or automation. As to which one will be reformed first, I do not know.
I do know that we, the Zillennials, are a resilient bunch. The reason we suffer so much is that we are actually more caring and more considerate than those before us. We have a voice and we aren’t afraid to use it.
I remain hopeful that we’ll be the ones who will change our environment, the direction of capitalism and the reputation of education.
Until that bright day, the struggle will continue.