Millenial Malaise: Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy

Read this article and felt that it was pretty spot on in a lot of ways. I just wanted to share it with the community and see what other people thought

Lucy is part of Generation Y, the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s. She's also part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y.

I have a term for yuppies in the Gen Y age group--I call them Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies, or GYPSYs. A GYPSY is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story.

So Lucy's enjoying her GYPSY life, and she's very pleased to be Lucy. Only issue is this one thing:

Lucy's kind of unhappy.

To get to the bottom of why, we need to define what makes someone happy or unhappy in the first place. It comes down to a simple formula: Happiness = Reality - Expectations

Millenial Malaise

Comments (29)

Sep 15, 2013

No link, my friend.

Sep 15, 2013

Can you fix the link? You have an "ahref" when you need "a href".

If this is the article I think you're referring to, you're right. It summarizes some of the problems with our generation.

But we're not the first generation to have these issues. People have been complaining about the generation of 15-30 year olds for hundreds of years, at least since Thomas Cole.

Thomas Cole has a famous series of paintings at the National Gallery on the stages of life. He portrays Youth as a kid standing proud on his boat staring off at images of castles in the sky, blithely unaware of the waterfall the boat is approaching. Meanwhile, he portrays middle-age (many of the people who complain about us) as getting tossed about by the waves of life.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Voyage_of_Life

For some odd reason, punks, err, kids have always thought they were the next JP Morgan, Howard Hughes, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, or (now) Mark Zuckerberg. And then they become disappointed and depressed when it doesn't work out the way they'd hoped. The internet has made us more ADD and made it easier for us to compare ourselves to other peoples' online personas (somehow everyone is a lot cooler than we are and also has a lot more money and free time than we do). So then we become more depressed.

The only major difference between the Baby Boomers and Generation Y is that Generation Y knows how to be part of a team and the Baby Boom knows how to do things on their own. They rebelled against their parents; we sat there and took it and then whined to ours. Other than that, we're the same self-absorbed, naive punks they were.

What we need to do is to avoid the same mistakes our parents and grandparents tried to avoid while also avoiding the mistakes we recognize. They taught us to be ambitious for the tangible results of success- prestige, money, etc, but they didn't teach us to be ambitious for what the basis of success is- creating stuff and services that other people need and value.

Our parents taught us respect (they avoided our grandparents' mistake). Signs for respecting people and taking responsibility were all over our schools. They were lower key parents who didn't set as many hard boundaries and showed us their thought process for a lot of the rules they did need to impose. They taught us teamwork. They avoided their parents mistakes. But they didn't teach us that to ultimately be successful, you start by looking out for what people around you want, and figuring out a way to meet those needs for others. Irony of ironies, success for a lot of folks probably starts with being a nice, altruistic person (although the later stages have more to do with having a killer instinct)

Sep 15, 2013
IlliniProgrammer:

But we're not the first generation to have these issues. People have been complaining about the generation of 15-30 year olds for hundreds of years, at least since Thomas Cole.

I definitely agree with the concept that the older generation thinks poorly of the younger generation, but disagree with the ages used. It was pretty common to be a grandparent in your early thirties 100+ years ago. I don't think you were considered a young whippersnapper at 30 in the age of Thomas Cole.

Sep 15, 2013
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Sep 15, 2013

A lot of truth to this, but I still blame everyone on the boomers. What a ridiculous generation.... and now they're becoming grandparents... if I knew my grandparents spent their youth tripping on acid while participating in an orgy with 30 or more tripping strangers I don't think I would have thought they were very sweet lol. Seriously though all the bashing of millennial's is getting old. I think they will go down as one of the best generations in US history anyways. I believe Strauss and Howe were correct about generational cycles. Millennials are starting out on the same trajectory as the greatest generation, it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Then again I'm obviously biased being one myself.

Sep 15, 2013

Every generation is better than the last for the most part. My issue with the baby boomers (and they aren't the first generation to do this, every generation does it) is they think they're right about everything. I see that a lot in our generation, but I also see a lot more thoughtful people.

The boomers are cocky. They grew up during a period of unprecedented expansion and growth. That isn't going to continue. They also grew up before the technology revolution. That changed a lot of things in this world. They don't really understand what's going on in the world (not that we do either), but they take action like they can't possibly be wrong.

Maybe I just have bad experiences with our predecessors, but I don't think that's the case. They aren't bad by any means, they're just not very thoughtful and they haven't really adapted to the way the world's changed.

Sep 16, 2013
subrosa:

A lot of truth to this, but I still blame everyone on the boomers. What a ridiculous generation.... and now they're becoming grandparents... if I knew my grandparents spent their youth tripping on acid while participating in an orgy with 30 or more tripping strangers I don't think I would have thought they were very sweet lol. Seriously though all the bashing of millennial's is getting old. I think they will go down as one of the best generations in US history anyways. I believe Strauss and Howe were correct about generational cycles. Millennials are starting out on the same trajectory as the greatest generation, it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Then again I'm obviously biased being one myself.

The greatest generation will probably always be our grandparents.

Our generation will be the wishy washy whiners who can't do anything on their own.

But we came close. Our parents taught us respect very well. They taught us how to work together. If we can teach our children all of that, AND to be content with what they have, AND to be just as ambitious for helping people as they are for tangible measures of success, we'll have the best kids since our grandparents.

Sep 26, 2013
subrosa:

if I knew my grandparents spent their youth tripping on acid while participating in an orgy with 30 or more tripping strangers I don't think I would have thought they were very sweet lol.

My wife and I go back and forth on this one as far as what to tell our kids. While she was extremely straight-laced, I colored outside the lines quite a bit. She tells me that I better do the right thing when they come to me and ask about drugs and things like that, but I tell her that I'm not going to lie to them.

My oldest is 10 now, so the conversation isn't very far off. I'm still conflicted about the advice I'll give them.

Don't do drugs until you can afford them? Smash randoms like it was your job, because there'll come a time in your life when you'll wish you had? Not sure on this one.

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Sep 26, 2013
Edmundo Braverman:
subrosa:

if I knew my grandparents spent their youth tripping on acid while participating in an orgy with 30 or more tripping strangers I don't think I would have thought they were very sweet lol.

Smash randoms like it was your job, because there'll come a time in your life when you'll wish you had? Not sure on this one.

Honestly, I'd tell them to steer clear of the drugs especially while young.

In terms of smashing randoms, I actually think it's very beneficial for a high school age boy to do this as it's a big confidence booster.

My drinkin' problem left today, she packed up all her bags and walked away.

Sep 26, 2013

Be honest, it's the only thing that works. With alcohol/weed, tell them it's okay to try those things, but not to get sucked into the culture. For hard drugs, tell them it's not a good idea to do it before they're 18 (at least). Give them a logical explanation of why drugs can be fun and how they can become harmful.

And tell them they better damn well know what the drug does, use a small amount the first time, be in a safe environment, have someone there that isn't on the drug, and get it from a trusted source. And tell them if they're going to try something, talk to you first about it. Make it a safe thing they won't get punished for. That way you can at least give them some info on what to watch for.

Sep 26, 2013

I always think of Knocked Up when Seth Rogen's dad says, "No pills, no powders. If it grows in the ground, it's probably ok." Probably good to be honest about where to ultimately draw the line.

If your kids are smart, they will try what they try and form their own opinions.

"I keep my eyes on him. Then once I see a chink in his armor, boom, one of his eyes may move, and then I know I have him." - Mike Tyson

Sep 16, 2013

The part I really related to though was how social media can serve to increase your expectations. We can put the best version of ourselves out into the public domain and then everyone thinks that's who you are as a person. I've definitely thought before "man that guy posts a lot of vacation pics, he must be doing really well, I wish I had his job/life" or what have you and it's made me unhappy

Sep 16, 2013

Old people always complain about young people. Hell, Aristotle did. Despite what people say, generation after generation of American's creates some new technology and manages to do well for themselves: ours just has a lot more change to deal with.

Sep 26, 2013

@IlliniProgrammer : you have answered well, A-. Would have been A+ to mention that Candlemass used two of those "Voyage of Life" paintings as their album covers. \m/ \m/

Metal. Music. Life. www.headofmetal.com

Sep 28, 2013
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