Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

I had to write one also…Obama & Gen Y

January 21, 2009

I couldn’t just ignore the round the clock coverage of the inauguration/coronation of President Obama. Don’t get me wrong when I say coronation, I voted for him, first time I voted even though I could have voted when I was 18 in the last election (somehow getting ready to go to college superseded any interest in that election).

This whole election cycle was a changing of the guard both from an idealistic standpoint but also a generational change. I hate to break it to you but America is quickly becoming Gen Y’s America. Don’t believe me? Exhibit A: remember how you were taught to interact with the newspaper everyday. You would study articles in school, you came down in the morning and Mom and Dad were reading the newspaper, your first job was probably a paper route even. These things became habits you still probably use today. Where is the newspaper industry today? My generation has moved past the newspaper. We consumer more information than you could have imagined our age, and we do it mostly virally. From job searching, to reading articles (even the ones in schools are shared electronically), to watching television we’re online.

Ok, I know you know this but have you thought about it before? Obama mania happened because he captured our generation and he did so in the trenches of facebook, not the trenches of stump speeches. While watching all the coverage and listening to all the speeches from him, his supporters, and all the pundits looking for something to talk about, I kept hearing about change. If you’ve read my first post change is a theme in my life, graduating, changing locations, lifestyles, and looking for a job…change, change, change.  Well now here we are beginning change “America Style”.  We all know there’s a lot to change. The economy is broken because we relied on past formulas and got burned. Jobs are scare all over, but every marketing field informational interview I go on, I hear about the need to reach Gen Y, how to diversify your message to reach a rapidly fragmenting audience. We knew this change was coming, and here it is.

Here’s what I, a Gen Y, would like to see Obama and older generations recognize about our generation. He’s woken a beast. Our generation was engaged in politics for the first time and our love affair with it has created a multi headed monster. Forget the 6 o’clock news, when something happens our Iphones, blackberries, twitters, etc. etc. will go off right then. Add that to the current state America has been given to us in, we won’t forget how screw up’s happen and what they look like. A year ago you could say Gen Y’s were needy (well ok I said it last week). That’s over. The flipside of the greed is we’ve seen the promise land. Our generation created the craze of our parents standing in line at Wal-mart for 7 hours to get the hot new Christmas toy. We were raised spoiled and now we want to get back there again. Don’t doubt us though, we’re willing to work hard for it. We’re hungry, we’re smart, and most importantly we understand our generation better then older gerneations ever would. Gen Y is all about a clean enviornment, human rights, peace and prosperity. We’re a perfect storm because we’re more experienced at our age than any previous generation ever was. We’ve been through it all. We know what terror is, remember we were in the schools when the phrase “school shooting” was coined. We’ve fought in war, grew up in the era of global warming, and got to go places as kids you never would have imagined. The world is smaller and we know more about it.

I will say Gen Y has a lot of responsibility. Responsibility we can handle, after all it was the big lesson we learned in single family homes when 1/2 of marriages in your generation ended in divorce. We’re the generation where safe sex became common discussion, as kids we watched the AIDS epidemic. Don’t doubt our ability to handle responsibility. Yes we still need your guidance, yes we don’t know everything, and yes we probably seem arrogant. But understand a beast has been woken, we understand the world more then you probably give us credit for, and we remember the glory days of being spoiled, it’s in all of our best interest to embrace and work with this change.