Posted by Bradley Moseley-Williams on September 18th, 2008
More knowledge from the recent Social Media for Government conference that took place in Ottawa this week.
Following demographic developments is a fascinating study. Society is changing as new technological advances change the face of one generation and redefine how that group interacts, understands, consumes and advances their culture.
From a presentation from some thinkers at the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum I learned about Millennials (for more on the ROM surf this). Intrigued by this demographic, I did some research.
Millennials are broadly described as being born post 1980 (say, between 1982 and 1994) and only know a world with digital technology. They signal the largest shift in media and behaviour since the dawn of television, which separates them in numerous ways from an older generation of media consumers.
Millennials have some interesting characteristics that further define them as a demographic group.
Socially expressive and inquisitive individuals, Millennials are the product of a society that included high rates of divorce and two-income families. Some theorists believe this translates into Millennials lacking an automatic deferral to authority and a new take on romantic and personal expression.
The ability to recreate, remix, retrieve and reconfigure the past (through technology) is expected. Millennials are resourceful and collaborative and have proven to be innovative thinkers.
Highly social and interconnected, Millennials work well in teams but are not considered highly loyal to employers, work places, or even–it is believed–romantic partners. There is no broad consensus if this “lack of loyalty” stems from social conditions (for example, divorce rates) or from some other factor. Millennials expect–and subsequently create–challenging and stimulating work experiences and places with a strong focus on the “team” and social life. (That is, they work and play together.)
This is an interesting demographic now assuming positions in the workforce and in the broader community of consumers. It will be interesting to watch them and their impact on society, consumer culture, communications and social media development.